Noncontrast MR angiography for comprehensive assessment of abdominopelvic arteries using quadruple inversion-recovery preconditioning and 3D balanced steady-state free precession imaging: "
To develop a noncontrast magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) method for comprehensive evaluation of abdominopelvic arteries in a single 3D acquisition.
Materials and Methods:
A noncontrast MRA (NC MRA) pulse sequence was developed using four inversion-recovery (IR) pulses and 3D balanced steady-state free precession (b-SSFP) readout to provide arterial imaging from renal to external iliac arteries. Respiratory triggered, high spatial resolution (1.3 × 1.3 × 1.7 mm3) noncontrast angiograms were obtained in seven volunteers and ten patients referred for gadolinium-enhanced MRA (CE MRA). Images were assessed for diagnostic quality by two radiologists. Quantitative measurements of arterial signal contrast were also performed.
NC MRA imaging was successfully completed in all subjects in 7.0 ± 2.3 minutes. In controls, image quality of NC MRA averaged 2.79 ± 0.39 on a scale of 0–3, where 3 is maximum. Image quality of NC MRA (2.65 ± 0.41) was comparable to that of CE MRA (2.9 ± 0.32) in all patients. Contrast ratio measurements in patients demonstrated that NC MRA provides arterial contrast comparable to source CE MRA images with adequate venous and excellent background tissue suppression.
The proposed noncontrast MRA pulse sequence provides high-quality visualization of abdominopelvic arteries within clinically feasible scan times. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2011;33:1430–1439. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.