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Gadolinium-enhanced 3D magnetic resonance angiography of the thoracic vessels

Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Original Research Invited Gadolinium-Enhanced 3D Magnetic Resonance Angiography of the Thoracic Vessels Mohammed A. Neimatallah, MD,1 Vincent B. Ho, MD,2 Qian Dong, MD,3 David Williams, MD,1 Smita Patel, MRCP, FRCR,1 Julie H. Song, MD,1 and Martin R. Prince, MD, PhD3* MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING has long been rec- ognized as a useful tool for the non-invasive evaluation of the thoracic vasculature. Unlike computed tomogra- phy and conventional angiography, MRI is not associ- ated with the concerns related to ionizing radiation exposure or to contrast-related nephrotoxicity. MRI is also capable of oblique image acquisition and multipla- nar reformation, which aids the illustration of the thoracic vessels, inherently intertwined and complex in their arrangements. In addition, MRI using cine tech- nique affords cardiac referenced data that enables dy- namic assessment of blood flow, yielding information comparable to an echocardiogram. Gadolinium (Gd)-enhanced three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a newer technique that provides high-resolution (ie, 3D) data very quickly and is well suited for the depiction of intrathoracic vessels. Improvements in gradient technol- ogy now allow a Gd-enhanced 3D MRA to be performed during a 20–40 second breath-hold. Because it relies on T1-shortening effects of circulating Gd-chelate contrast media and not inherent flow characteristics, Gd- enhanced 3D MRA can often depict pathologic vascular segments that are not adequately visualized using unen- hanced flow-based MRI techniques. In addition, Gd- enhanced 3D MRA provides volumetric data that can be processed for multiplanar reformation (MPR) and maxi- mum intensity projection (MIP) viewing. In this article, the technical considerations and potential applications for Gd-enhanced 3D MRA of the systemic and pulmo- nary vessels within the chest will be discussed and illustrated. Traditionally, T1-weighted spin-echo and gradient- echo pulse sequences have been employed for

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