The purpose of the work was to evaluate the effectiveness of extracellular contrast media in improving MR coronary angiography using breath-hold segmented echo-planar imaging (SEPI). Two protocols were designed to optimize the inversion recovery-prepared contrast-enhanced SEPI method. In 15 healthy volunteers, significant improvements in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), vessel sharpness, and length of visualization were observed post-contrast. The method with two targeted scans to cover the left and right arteries, respectively, following separate 20-mL contrast injections, was found to yield thinner slices and longer right coronary artery (RCA) visualization than a single scan following a 40-mL contrast injection without compromising SNR and CNR. In conclusion, extracellular contrast media substantially improves the delineation of coronary arteries with SEPI.

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Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Tinbergen Institute

Deshpande, V., Wielopolski, P., Shea, S., Carr, J., Zheng, J., & Li, D. (2001). Coronary artery imaging using contrast-enhanced 3D segmented EPI. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 13(5), 676–681. doi:10.1002/jmri.1095