The feasibility of 350 μm spatial resolution coronary magnetic resonance angiography at 3 T in humans

Ahmed M. Gharib, Khaled Z. Abd-Elmoniem, Vincent B. Ho, Eszter Födi, Daniel A. Herzka, Jacques Ohayon, Matthias Stuber, Roderic I. Pettigrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


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 mm3 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 mm3 (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 μm2 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 μm2 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • 3 T
  • cardiac MR
  • coronary MRA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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