Spatially selective implementation of the adiabatic T2prep sequence for magnetic resonance angiography of the coronary arteries

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In coronary magnetic resonance angiography, a magnetization-preparation scheme for T2-weighting (T2Prep) is widely used to enhance contrast between the coronary blood-pool and the myocardium. This prepulse is commonly applied without spatial selection to minimize flow sensitivity, but the nonselective implementation results in a reduced magnetization of the in-flowing blood and a related penalty in signal-to-noise ratio. It is hypothesized that a spatially selective T2Prep would leave the magnetization of blood outside the T2Prep volume unaffected and thereby lower the signal-to-noise ratio penalty. To test this hypothesis, a spatially selective T2Prep was implemented where the user could freely adjust angulation and position of the T2Prep slab to avoid covering the ventricular blood-pool and saturating the in-flowing spins. A time gap of 150 ms was further added between the T2Prep and other prepulses to allow for in-flow of a larger volume of unsaturated spins. Consistent with numerical simulation, the spatially selective T2Prep increased in vivo human coronary artery signal-to-noise ratio (42.3 ± 2.9 vs. 31.4 ± 2.2, n = 22, P < 0.0001) and contrast-to-noise-ratio (18.6 ± 1.5 vs. 13.9 ± 1.2, P = 0.009) as compared to those of the nonselective T2Prep. Additionally, a segmental analysis demonstrated that the spatially selective T2Prep was most beneficial in proximal and mid segments where the in-flowing blood volume was largest compared to the distal segments. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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