Purpose: The purposes of this study were to (1) develop a high-resolution 3-T magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) technique with an in-plane resolution approximate to that of multidetector coronary computed tomography (MDCT) and a voxel size of 0.35 × 0.35 × 1.5 mm 3 and to (2) investigate the image quality of this technique in healthy participants and preliminarily in patients with known coronary artery disease (CAD). Materials and Methods: A 3-T coronary MRA technique optimized for an image acquisition voxel as small as 0.35 × 0.35 × 1.5 mm 3 (high-resolution coronary MRA [HRC]) was implemented and the coronary arteries of 22 participants were imaged. These included 11 healthy participants (average age, 28.5 years; 5 men) and 11 participants with CAD (average age, 52.9 years; 5 women) as identified on MDCT. In addition, the 11 healthy participants were imaged using a method with a more common spatial resolution of 0.7 × 1 × 3 mm 3 (regular-resolution coronary MRA [RRC]). Qualitative and quantitative comparisons were made between the 2 MRA techniques. Results: Normal vessels and CAD lesions were successfully depicted at 350 × 350 μm 2 in-plane resolution with adequate signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio. The CAD findings were consistent among MDCT and HRC. The HRC showed a 47% improvement in sharpness despite a reduction in SNR (by 72%) and in contrast-to-noise ratio (by 86%) compared with the regular-resolution coronary MRA. Conclusion: This study, as a first step toward substantial improvement in the resolution of coronary MRA, demonstrates the feasibility of obtaining at 3 T a spatial resolution that approximates that of MDCT. The acquisition in-plane pixel dimensions are as small as 350 × 350 μm 2 with a 1.5-mm slice thickness. Although SNR is lower, the images have improved sharpness, resulting in image quality that allows qualitative identification of disease sites on MRA consistent with MDCT.
- 3 T
- cardiac MR
- coronary MRA
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging