Volume-targeted and whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography using an intravascular contrast agent

Lijun Tang, Nico Merkle, Michael Schär, Grigorios Korosoglou, Meiyappan Solaiyappan, Vinzenz Hombach, Matthias Stuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare volume-targeted and whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) after the administration of an intravascular contrast agent. Materials and Methods: Six healthy adult subjects underwent a navigator-gated and -corrected (NAV) free breathing volume-targeted cardiac-triggered inversion recovery (IR) 3D steady-state free precession (SSFP) coronary MRA sequence (t-CMRA) (spatial resolution = 1 × 1 × 3 mm3) and high spatial resolution IR 3D SSFP whole-heart coronary MRA (WH-CMRA) (spatial resolution = 1 × 1 × 2 mm3) after the administration of an intravascular contrast agent B-22956. Subjective and objective image quality parameters including maximal visible vessel length, vessel sharpness, and visibility of coronary side branches were evaluated for both t-CMRA and WH-CMRA. Results: No significant differences (P = NS) in image quality were observed between contrast-enhanced t-CMRA and WH-CMRA. However, using an intravascular contrast agent, significantly longer vessel segments were measured on WH-CMRA vs. t-CMRA (right coronary artery [RCA] 13.5 ± 0.7 cm vs. 12.5 ± 0.2 cm; P < 0.05; and left circumflex coronary artery [LCX] 11.9 ± 2.2 cm vs. 6.9 ± 2.4 cm; P < 0.05). Significantly more side branches (13.3 ± 1.2 vs. 8.7 ± 1.2; P < 0.05) were visible for the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) on WH-CMRA vs. t-CMRA. Scanning time and navigator efficiency were similar for both techniques (t-CMRA: 6.05 min; 49% vs. WH-CMRA: 5.51 min; 54%, both P = NS). Conclusion: Both WH-CMRA and t-CMRA using SSFP are useful techniques for coronary MRA after the injection of an intravascular blood-pool agent. However, the vessel conspicuity for high spatial resolution WH-CMRA is not inferior to t-CMRA, while visible vessel length and the number of visible smaller-diameter vessels and side-branches are improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1191-1196
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Blood-pool agents
  • Coronary arteries
  • Intravascular contrast agents
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Volume-targeting
  • Whole heart imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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