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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Positive visualization of nitinol stent-grafts by post-processing

  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3 and
  • 1
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance201012 (Suppl 1) :P232

  • Published:


  • False Lumen
  • Negative Contrast
  • Positive Contrast
  • Endovascular Aneurysm Repair
  • Wall Apposition


The emergence of new MR-compatible nitinol-based stent-grafts [1] allows follow-up MRI of patients with these devices to assess stent-graft and wall apposition, or monitoring endovascular aneurysm repair. In particular, the soft-tissue contrast provided by MRI holds benefit over CT and was shown to be more sensitive to endoleak detection [2]. However, sometimes the susceptibility artifact caused by stent graft may be confused with other sources of negative contrast. Recently, Vonken et al. proposed positive visualization based on susceptibility gradient mapping (SGM) [3]. However SGM calculates the susceptibility gradient over neighboring pixels and thus requires MR-images with very high-resolution (0.3-0.7 mm isotropic) that cannot be achieved in clinical practice. In this work we investigated the use of a new positive contrast method that maintains the original resolution and allows selective visualization of devices from the clinical MR-data.


This study focuses on the feasibility for positive visualization of nitinol stent-grafts by post-processing.


Our technique maps the echo-shift in k-space associated with the susceptibility difference from the stent-graft by applying a filter in a sequential manner in k-space. The k-space shift was determined by analyzing the drop in the Fourier transform of the filtered signal.

A GoreTAG® endovascular stent-graft was deployed to treat aneurysm formation in chronic aortic dissection. MRI was conducted with blood-pool agent post-surgery on a 3 T clinical scanner (Achieva, Philips Healthcare): 3D TFE; FOV = 251 × 400 × 156 mm3; FA = 20°; TE/TR = 2.7/5.6 ms; resolution = 1 × 1.5 × 3.0 mm3. A positive contrast image was obtained by mapping the k-space shift in each direction and use of the magnitude at each pixel (Fig. 1). The positive contrast by post-processing was thus fused with MR images (OsiriX Imaging Software), without requiring registration. A rough mask was also applied based on the aorta to remove unrelated positive contrast.
Figure 1
Figure 1

The same MR-data from the negative contrast image (a) was used to calculated a positive contrast map (b) from the k-space shift due to susceptibility gradients. A mask is applied to the positive contrast based on the aorta (c) and then fused with the original image (d).


Proximal apposition of the stent-graft to the wall is seen between the positive and negative contrast images (Fig. 2). The distal extent and length of the device may also be assessed easily.
Figure 2
Figure 2

(a) Saggital section demonstrating a good proximal seal with some residual filling of the false lumen. (b) Poor medial apposition of the stent-graft to the wall. (c) Positive contrast fused with data from MR-angiography allows 3D visulization.


Application of this positive contrast technique permitted improved visualization of the stent-graft as well as the aortic lumen and wall. The poor stent-graft - wall apposition proximally and the continued perfusion of the false lumen distally provided an early non-invasive assessment of the endovascular repair and guided the clinical workflow. The proposed post-processing method does not require any additional scan and provides better depiction of a post-implant stent-graft.

Authors’ Affiliations

King's College London, London, UK
Philips Research Europe, Hamburg, Germany
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK


  1. Eggebrecht , et al: J Endovasc Ther. 2006, 13: 62-71. 10.1583/05-1707.1.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Laan van der , et al: Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2006, 32: 361-365. 10.1016/j.ejvs.2006.02.011.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Vonken , et al: Eur MRM. 2008, 60: 588-594.View ArticleGoogle Scholar


© Varma et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.