Comparison of 1.5 and 3.0 T for contrast-enhanced pulmonary magnetic resonance angiography

Frank Joseph Londy, Suzan Lowe, Paul D. Stein, John G. Weg, Robert L. Eisner, Kenneth V. Leeper, Pamela K. Woodard, Henry Dirk Sostman, Kathleen A. Jablonski, Sarah E. Fowler, Charles A. Hales, Russell D. Hull, Alexander Gottschalk, David P. Naidich, Thomas L. Chenevert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: In a recent multi-center trial of gadolinium contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (Gd-MRA) for diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism (PE), two centers utilized a common MRI platform though at different field strengths (1.5T and 3T) and realized a signal-to-noise gain with the 3T platform. This retrospective analysis investigates this gain in signal-to-noise of pulmonary vascular targets. Methods: Thirty consecutive pulmonary MRA examinations acquired on a 1.5T system at one institution were compared to 30 consecutive pulmonary MRA examinations acquired on a 3T system at a different institution. Both systems were from the same MRI manufacturer and both used the same Gd-MRA pulse sequence, although there were some protocol adjustments made due to field strength differences. Region-of-interests were manually defined on the main pulmonary artery, 4 pulmonary veins, thoracic aorta, and background lung for objective measurement of signal-to-noise, contrast-to-noise, and bolus timing bias between centers. Results: The 3T pulmonary MRA protocol achieved higher spatial resolution yet maintained significantly higher signal-to-noise ratio (≥13%, p = 0.03) in the main pulmonary vessels relative to 1.5T. There was no evidence of operator bias in bolus timing or patient hemodynamic differences between groups. Conclusion: Relative to 1.5T, higher spatial resolution Gd-MRA can be achieved at 3T with a sustained or greater signal-to-noise ratio of enhanced vasculature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-139
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • field strength
  • image quality
  • MRI
  • pulmonary embolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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