Black-blood dynamic contrast-enhanced coronary artery wall MRI: a potential tool for kinetic-modeling-based wall inflammation assessment
© Fan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
Published: 30 January 2013
Dynamic gadolinium contrast-enhanced (DCE) vessel wall MRI has recently been used to compute a set of model-based contrast kinetic parameters (e.g. Ktrans and Vp) that can well characterize the extent of inflammation in carotid plaques [1,2]. However, no studies have shown its feasibility in coronary artery wall, presumably due to the technical challenges in imaging such a constantly-moving, ultra-small structure and potential difficulty in visually distinguishing the wall from the hyperintense lumen with conventional DCE techniques. This work aimed to develop a black-blood navigator-gated ECG-triggered T1-weighted sequence for DCE MRI of coronary vessel wall.
Ten healthy volunteers (1 F, 9 M; age 22-45 years) were scanned at 3T using a 6-channel body matrix coil and spine coil. DCE imaging was performed using the developed technique at one single slice selected from one of major coronary arteries. Relevant imaging parameters: resolution = 0.8 × 0.8 × 4.0 mm3, TI1/TI2 = 350/40 ms. One-frame pre-contrast scan was followed by repetitive contrast-enhanced scans (1-2 min/frame, > 15 min), along with intravenous contrast (0.2 mmol/kg gadopentetate dimeglumine) injection and saline flush (30 ml) both at 0.2 ml/s. The changes in signal intensity of coronary vessel wall and lumen were obtained from black-blood and bright-blood images, respectively.
With SRDIR preparation, black blood imaging can be fulfilled consistently regardless of blood T1 value. This could improve the accuracy of vessel wall signal measurement and make this technique feasible for coronary vessel wall that is much thinner than carotid vessel wall. A feasibility study applying this technique to clinical patients with stable angina is underway.
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