Coronary MR angiography (CURA) is generally confined to the acquisition of multiple targeted slabs with coverage dictated by the competing constraints of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), physiological motion, and scan time. This work addresses these obstacles by demonstrating the technical feasibility of using a 32-channel coil array and receiver system for highly accelerated volumetric breath-hold CMRA. The use of the 32-element array in unaccelerated CMRA studies provided a baseline SNR increase of as much as 40% over conventional cardiac-optimized phased array coils, which resulted in substantially enhanced image quality and improved delineation of the coronary arteries. Modest accelerations were used to reduce breath-hold durations for tailored coverage of the coronary arteries using targeted multi-oblique slabs to as little as 10 s. Finally, high net accelerations were combined with the SNR advantages of a 3D steady-state free precession (SSFP) technique to achieve previously unattainable comprehensive volumetric coverage of the coronary arteries in a single breath-hold. The merits and limitations of this simplified volumetric imaging approach are discussed and its implications for coronary MRA are considered.
- Coronary magnetic resonance angiography (CMRA)
- Parallel imaging
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)
- Whole-heart coverage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging