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.
- Contrast agents
- Coronary arteries
- MR angiography
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Segmented echo-planar imaging (SEPI)