EVALUATION OF TIME-OF-FLIGHT AND PHASE-CONTRAST MRA SEQUENCES AT 1.0 T FOR DIAGNOSIS OF CAROTID ARTERY DISEASE: I. A phantom and volunteer study

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Abstract

Purpose and Material:

The aim of this work was, firstly, to compare different manufacturer-provided MRA sequences in a 1.0 T MR unit, with respect to the visibility of an artificial stenosis in a flow phantom and, secondly, to evaluate the same sequences in healthy volunteers with respect to S/N ratio levels and practical in vivo implementation routines.

Methods:

The studied sequences were 2D and 3D TOF and sequences with an acquisition time of approximately 10 min. Quantitative signal evaluation was made using single transverse partitions in all phantom experiments. MIP angiograms and MPR reconstructions were made for visual inspection of image quality. In vivo, the images were individually evaluated by visual inspection by experienced neuroradiologists.

Results:

In the evaluation of the grade and length of a stenosis, a combination of MIP and MPR was seen to be the optimal and necessary procedure. A shortening of TE played an important and significant role in the visualization of the poststenotic flow in the phantom using TOF MRA. However, the shortest TE values gave poor S/N ratio in vivo. The good results achieved in the phantom studies for 3D phase-contrast were somewhat reversed in the volunteer studies, whereas 3D TOF sequences showed good results in both the phantom and the volunteer studies.

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