To prospectively evaluate the technical feasibility and relative performance of pulmonary time-resolved MR angiography (MRA) and pulmonary artery (PA) flow quantification at 3.0T vs. 1.5T.Materials and Methods:
Time-resolved contrast-enhanced (CE) MRA of the pulmonary circulation, and flow quantification of the main PA (MPA) were performed in 14 consecutive adult healthy volunteers at both 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla with nearly identical sequence parameters. Image quality, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and quantitative indices of pulmonary perfusion, flow, and velocity were evaluated and compared at both field strengths.Results:
Time-resolved pulmonary MRA, perfusion, and flow quantification were successfully performed at both magnetic fields. The results of pulmonary perfusion and flow indices were comparable at both magnetic fields, with no statistically significant difference. The SNR values for vascular structures were higher at 3.0T vs. 1.5T (P = 0.001). The SNR values and the definition scores for parenchymal enhancement were significantly lower (P = 0.008 and 0.001, respectively) at 3.0T.Conclusion:
Time-resolved pulmonary MRA, perfusion, and flow quantification at 3.0T was feasible, with comparable results to 1.5T. The lower parenchymal enhancement at 3.0T is believed to reflect increased susceptibility effects at higher magnetic fields. Further work is needed to fully exploit the potential of pulmonary perfusion imaging at 3.0T and to address the current limitations.