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MR-imaging of the thoracic aorta: 3D-ECG- and respiratory-gated bSSFP imaging using the CLAWS algorithm versus contrast-enhanced 3D-MRA

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Kawel Nadine, Jhooti Permi, Haas Tanja, Winter Leopold, Zellweger M, Buser Peter, Keegan Jenny, Scheffler Klaus, Bremerich Jens,
Project The Use of Biofeedback For a Human-Centred Approach to Improving Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal European Journal of Radiology
Volume (Issue) 81
Page(s) 239 - 243
Title of proceedings European Journal of Radiology


Objective: To compare a contrast-enhanced 3D angiography (CE-3D-MRA) with the ECG- and respiratory gated 3D balanced steady state free precession (bSSFP) sequence using the CLAWS algorithm (3D-bSSFP- CLAWS) with respect to acquisition time, image quality, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Methods: 14 patients (4 women, mean age ± SD: 52 ± 18) with known or suspected thoracic aortic disease were imaged on a 1.5 T scanner with both sequences. Two readers scored image quality of predefined levels of the thoracic aorta. Acquisition time, SNR and CNR were calculated for each examination. Results: Image quality achieved with the 3D-bSSFP-CLAWS was scored significantly better than with the CE-3D-MRA for the aortic annulus (P = 0.003), the sinuses of Valsalva (P = 0.001), the proximal coronary arteries (P = 0.001) and the sinotubular junction (P = 0.001). Effective acquisition time for the 3D-bSSFP- CLAWS and corrected acquisition time (corrected for imaging parameters) was significantly longer compared to the CE-3D-MRA (P=0.004 and P=0.028). SNR and CNR were significantly higher for the CE-3D-MRA (P = 0.007 and P = 0.001). Conclusions: Providing the highest scan efficiency for a given breathing pattern, image quality for the proximal ascending aorta achieved with the 3D-bSSFP-CLAWS is significantly superior in contrast to the CE-3D-MRA.