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Circulation. 1999 Jun 22;99(24):3139-48.

Improved coronary artery definition with T2-weighted, free-breathing, three-dimensional coronary MRA.

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Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



Three-dimensional (3D) navigator-gated and prospectively corrected free-breathing coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) allows for submillimeter image resolution but suffers from poor contrast between coronary blood and myocardium. Data collected over >100 ms/heart beat are also susceptible to bulk cardiac and respiratory motion. To address these problems, we examined the effect of a T2 preparation prepulse (T2prep) for myocardial suppression and a shortened acquisition window on coronary definition.


Eight healthy adult subjects and 5 patients with confirmed coronary artery disease (CAD) underwent free-breathing 3D MRA with and without T2prep and with 120- and 60-ms data-acquisition windows. The T2prep resulted in a 123% (P<0. 001) increase in contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Coronary edge definition was improved by 33% (P<0.001). Acquisition window shortening from 120 to 60 ms resulted in better vessel definition (11%; P<0.001). Among patients with CAD, there was a good correspondence with disease.


Free-breathing, T2prep, 3D coronary MRA with a shorter acquisition window resulted in improved CNR and better coronary artery definition, allowing the assessment of coronary disease. This approach offers the potential for free-breathing, noninvasive assessment of the major coronary arteries.

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