Whole-heart coronary vein imaging: a comparison between non-contrast-agent- and contrast-agent-enhanced visualization of the coronary venous system.

Abstract

The feasibility of three-dimensional (3D) whole-heart imaging of the coronary venous (CV) system was investigated. The hypothesis that coronary magnetic resonance venography (CMRV) can be improved by using an intravascular contrast agent (CA) was tested. A simplified model of the contrast in T(2)-prepared steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging was applied to calculate optimal T(2)-preparation durations for the various deoxygenation levels expected in venous blood. Non-contrast-agent (nCA)- and CA-enhanced images were compared for the delineation of the coronary sinus (CS) and its main tributaries. A quantitative analysis of the resulting contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in both approaches was performed. Precontrast visualization of the CV system was limited by the poor CNR between large portions of the venous blood and the surrounding tissue. Postcontrast, a significant increase in CNR between the venous blood and the myocardium (Myo) resulted in a clear delineation of the target vessels. The CNR improvement was 347% (P < 0.05) for the CS, 260% (P < 0.01) for the mid cardiac vein (MCV), and 430% (P < 0.05) for the great cardiac vein (GCV). The improvement in SNR was on average 155%, but was not statistically significant for the CS and the MCV. The signal of the Myo could be significantly reduced to about 25% (P < 0.001).

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@article{Rasche2007WholeheartCV, title={Whole-heart coronary vein imaging: a comparison between non-contrast-agent- and contrast-agent-enhanced visualization of the coronary venous system.}, author={Volker Rasche and Ludwig Binner and Friedrich M Cavagna and V. Hombach and Markus Kunze and Jochen Spiess and Matthias Stuber and Nico Merkle}, journal={Magnetic resonance in medicine}, year={2007}, volume={57 6}, pages={1019-26} }