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Magn Reson Med. 2011 Jul;66(1):82-91. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22781. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography at 3 T with radial EPI.

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Department of Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography is a promising method for detecting coronary artery disease. However, the imaging time is relatively long (typically 10-15 min). The goal of this study was to implement a radial echo planar imaging sequence for contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography, with the aim of combining the scan efficiency of echo planar imaging with the motion insensitivity of radial k-space sampling. A self-calibrating phase correction technique was used to correct for off-resonance effects, trajectory measurement was used to correct for k-space trajectory errors, and variable density sampling was used in the partition direction to reduce streaking artifacts. Seven healthy volunteers and two patients were scanned with the proposed radial echo planar imaging sequence, and the images were compared with a traditional gradient echo and X-ray angiography techniques, respectively. Whole-heart images with the radial EPI technique were acquired with a resolution of 1.0 × 1.0 × 2.0 mm(3) in a scan time of 5 min. In healthy volunteers, the average image quality scores and visualized vessel lengths of the RCA and LAD were similar for the radial EPI and gradient echo techniques (P value > 0.05 for all). Anecdotal patient studies showed excellent agreement of the radial EPI technique with X-ray angiography.

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