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Chin Med J (Engl). 2006 Nov 5;119(21):1772-8.

Diagnosis of systemic arterial diseases with whole-body 3D contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.



With the development of magnetic resonance (MR) technologies, whole-body 3D contrast-enhanced MR angiography (3D CE MRA) has become possible. The purpose of this study was to introduce and evaluate this technique in demonstration of various systemic arterial diseases.


Thirty-seven patients underwent whole-body 3D CE MRA using a 1.5T MR imager. The patients included were with clinically documented or suspected peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD, n = 19), Takayasu arteritis (n = 8), polyarteritis nodosa (n = 1), Type B dissection (n = 4) and thoracic and/or abdominal aneurysm (n = 5). Sixty-eight surface coil elements were employed to encompass the whole body. Four 3D CE MRA stations were acquired successively through automatic table moving. A total scan range of 188 cm, covering the arterial tree from carotid artery to trifurcation vessels, was acquired. Overall image quality of each arterial segment and venous overlay were assessed and rated. The depiction of various systemic arterial diseases was evaluated and compared with other imaging modalities if available, including digital subtraction angiography (DSA), CT angiography, dedicated mono-station MRA.


Whole-body 3D CE MRA was well tolerated by all patients. It yielded a detailed display of the arterial system with a short examination time. The image quality was considered diagnostic in 99.3% of the arterial segments. The remaining 0.7% of the arterial segments were considered non-diagnostic. In 7 of 19 patients with PAOD, whole-body MRA showed additional vascular narrowing apart from peripheral arterial disease. In 9 patients with vasculitis, whole-body MRA depicted luminal irregularity, narrowing or occlusion, aneurysm and collateral circulation involving multiple vascular segments. Whole-body MRA also clearly revealed the severity and extent of dissection and aortic aneurysm. In 20 cases the vascular pathologies demonstrated on whole body MRA were confirmed by other imaging investigations.


The whole-body MRA technique was non-invasive, quick and easy to perform. It was valuable for a comprehensive evaluation of vascular involvement of various systemic arterial diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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