Purpose: Depressed coronary endothelial function (CEF) is a marker for atherosclerotic disease, an independent predictor of cardiovascular events, and can be quantified non-invasively with ECG-triggered spiral cine MRI combined with isometric handgrip exercise (IHE). However, MRI-CEF measures can be hindered by faulty ECG-triggering, leading to prolonged breath-holds and degraded image quality. Here, a self-gated golden angle spiral method (SG-GA) is proposed to eliminate the need for ECG during cine MRI. Methods: SG-GA was tested against retrospectively ECG-gated golden angle spiral MRI (ECG-GA) and gold-standard ECG-triggered spiral cine MRI (ECG-STD) in 10 healthy volunteers. CEF data were obtained from cross-sectional images of the proximal right and left coronary arteries in a 3T scanner. Self-gating heart rates were compared to those from simultaneous ECG-gating. Coronary vessel sharpness and cross-sectional area (CSA) change with IHE were compared among the 3 methods. Results: Self-gating precision, accuracy, and correlation-coefficient were 7.7 ± 0.5 ms, 9.1 ± 0.7 ms, and 0.93 ± 0.01, respectively (mean ± standard error). Vessel sharpness by SG-GA was equal or higher than ECG-STD (rest: 63.0 ± 1.7% vs. 61.3 ± 1.3%; exercise: 62.6 ± 1.3% vs. 56.7 ± 1.6%, P < 0.05). CSA changes were in agreement among the 3 methods (ECG-STD = 8.7 ± 4.0%, ECG-GA = 9.6 ± 3.1%, SG-GA = 9.1 ± 3.5%, P = not significant). Conclusion: CEF measures can be obtained with the proposed self-gated high-quality cine MRI method even when ECG is faulty or not available. Magn Reson Med 80:560–570, 2018.
- cine MRI
- coronary endothelial function
- golden angle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging