PURPOSE To minimize venous overlay at the calf station in contrast-enhanced three-dimensional (3D) stepping-table magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) using a continuous cuff-compression technique during MR data acquisition. MATERIAL AND METHODS Within 14 months, 32 patients suffering from symptomatic peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) with a bilateral ankle-brachial index (ABI) of 0.8 or below were consecutively enrolled in this study. Unilateral cuff-compression of the proximal calf was applied in the study group (n = 14). The control group (n = 18) underwent no compression. All patients underwent three-step 3D contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (3D CE-MRA) according to the institute's protocol. Venous contamination scores (vcs) at the calf station were blindly ranked by a 1 to 3 rating score (3 = major venous contamination). The vcs values of the control group were regarded as standard. Statistical significance between both groups was evaluated with a paired t test. RESULTS Symmetric venous contamination was observed within the control group with a mean vcs of 2.2+/-0.6 on the left side and 2.2+/-0.7 on the right side with deltavcsleft-right of 0.1+/-0.2 (P>0.1). In the study group, asymmetric venous contamination was determined with vcsmean = 2.3+/-0.6 for the uncompressed side and vcsmean =1.4+/-0.5 for the compressed side and a deltavcsuncomp-comp of 0.9+/-0.5 (P<0.00005). The control group and the uncompressed side of the study group showed no significant difference in venous contamination (P > 0.1). CONCLUSION Subdiastolic cuff-compression of the proximal calf is an easily applicable and inexpensive technique by which to reduce venous contamination of the calf station in stepping-table MR angiography and to improve evaluation of the infrapopliteal arteries.