Purpose: To prospectively evaluate the technical feasibility of both high-spatial-resolution and time-resolved contrast material-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) angiography of the pulmonary circulation at 3.0 T. Materials and Methods: All examinations were HIPAA compliant. After institutional review board approval and written informed consent, time-resolved and high-spatial- resolution three-dimensional contrast-enhanced MR angiography of the pulmonary circulation was performed with a 3.0 T MR system in 31 adults (13 men, 18 women; age range, 29-87 years old): 22 volunteers and nine patients (two with mediastinal masses, seven with pulmonary arterial hypertension [PAH]). The image quality of pulmonary arterial branches and parenchymal enhancement conspicuity were evaluated independently by two radiologists. The signal-to-noise ratio and quantitative analysis of perfusion parameters was performed. Statistical analysis of data was performed by using Wilcoxon rank sum test and two-sample Student t test, and interobserver variability was tested with κ coefficient. Results: Visualization up to fourth-order pulmonary arterial branches was observed on time-resolved MR angiograms and that up to fifth-order branches was observed on high-spatial-resolution MR angiograms, with diagnostic-quality blood vessel definition and good interobserver agreement. Evaluation of parenchymal enhancement and semiquantitative analysis of perfusion parameters yielded dynamic information in all subjects. Comparative analysis of definition scores for fourth- and fifth-order pulmonary arterial branches, parenchymal enhancement, the time lag between the pulmonary arterial and parenchymal enhancement, and all of the calculated perfusion indices in patients with PAH showed statistically significant differences from volunteers (F < .03). Conclusion: Three-dimensional contrast-enhanced MR angiography of the pulmonary circulation was feasible at 3.0 T and provided high vascular morphologic detail and dynamic functional information. Clearly detectable abnormalities were present in patients with PAH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging