Respiratory-Gated Noncontrast SPACE MR Angiography Sequence at 3T for Evaluation of the Central Veins of the Chest: A Feasibility Study

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Purpose:To evaluate the feasibility of a respiratory-gated noncontrast magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) sequence for imaging the central veins of the chest.Materials and Methods:Eleven healthy subjects underwent MRA of the central veins of the chest with a respiratory-gated noncontrast (SPACE) sequence. Qualitative visualization and signal homogeneity of each central venous segment were scored by two radiologists on a scale of 1–4. Signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios (SNR and CNR) were also calculated. Retrospective review of our imaging database revealed 13 patients with suspected pathology of the central veins who underwent a clinical MRA examination using the SPACE sequence as well as reference standard central venous imaging with contrast-enhanced MRA or conventional venography.Results:In healthy subjects, all central venous segments demonstrated good to excellent venous visualization and homogeneity scores with the noncontrast SPACE sequence. The mean SNR and CNR of the central venous system were 192.7 and 175.0, respectively. In the 13 clinical examinations, the sensitivity and specificity for detection of stenosis or occlusions was 100% and 100% for reader 1 and 95% and 91% for reader 2, respectively.Conclusion:The respiratory-gated noncontrast SPACE sequence provided excellent imaging characteristics of the central veins in healthy subjects with promising diagnostic accuracy in patients with central venous pathology. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2015;41:67–73. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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