Coronary MR angiography

Coronary MR angiography (coronary MRA) is a developing approach to imaging the coronary arteries.

Advantages of coronary MRA include avoidance of the intravenous iodinated contrast and ionizing radiation used in coronary CT angiography and conventional angiography.

A disadvantage of coronary MRA has been a problem with low signal-to-noise ratio when trying to image a small vessel with free breathing sequences. Current techniques also typically involve long scan times since ECG-gated and respiratory-gated acquisition is necessary to avoid motion blurring.

  • 1.5 T: coronary MRA typically relies on SSFP sequences (gadolinium contrast not necessary for this sequence).
  • 3 T: coronary MRA typically relies on gradient echo (GRE) sequences with a double dose of IV contrast agent.
  • fat-saturation techniques (such as STIR or SPIR) are necessary to suppress epicardial fat surrounding the coronary arteries
  • a T2W magnetization preparation pulse suppresses myocardial signal and venous blood signal in the epicardial veins
Future directions

3 T GRE contrast-enhanced whole heart coronary MRA sensitivity (94%) and specificity (82%) approaches that of 64-slice coronary CTA, but data about its prognostic ability has not yet been developed. 

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Article information

rID: 31912
System: Cardiac
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Coronary MRA

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