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Radiology. 2011 Jul;260(1):282-93. doi: 10.1148/radiol.11101336. Epub 2011 Apr 18.

Evaluation of peripheral arterial disease with nonenhanced quiescent-interval single-shot MR angiography.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, NorthShore University HealthSystem, 2650 Ridge Ave, Evanston, IL 60201, USA.



To assess the diagnostic performance of quiescent-interval single-shot (QISS) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography, a nonenhanced two-dimensional electrocardiographically gated single-shot balanced steady-state free precession examination for the evaluation of symptomatic chronic lower limb ischemia.


For this prospective institutional review board-approved, HIPAA-compliant study, the institutional review board waived the requirement for informed patient consent. The QISS nonenhanced MR angiography technique was evaluated in a two-center trial involving 53 patients referred for lower extremity MR angiography for suspected or known chronic peripheral arterial disease (PAD), with contrast material-enhanced MR angiography serving as the noninvasive reference standard. The accuracy of stenosis assessments performed with the nonenhanced MR angiography sequence was evaluated relative to the reference standard. Per-segment, per-region, and per-limb sensitivities and specificities were calculated, and assessments were considered correct only if they were in exact agreement with the reference standard-derived assessments. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) modeling with use of an unstructured binomial logit analysis was used to account for clustering of multiple measurements per case. The sensitivity and specificity of QISS MR angiography for the determination of nonsignificant (<50%) versus significant (50%-100%) stenosis were compared with the sensitivity and specificity of the reference standard.


The diagnostic performance of nonenhanced MR angiography was found to be nearly equivalent to the diagnostic performances of contrast-enhanced MR angiography and digital subtraction angiography. Non-GEE segment-based analysis revealed that for the two reviewers, nonenhanced MR angiography had sensitivities of 89.7% (436 of 486 segments) and 87.0% (423 of 486 segments) and specificities of 96.5% (994 of 1030 segments) and 94.6% (973 of 1028 segments).


QISS nonenhanced MR angiography offers an alternative to currently used imaging tests for symptomatic chronic lower limb ischemia, for which the administration of iodinated or gadolinium-based contrast agents is contraindicated.

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