Purpose: To obtain high-spatial-resolution, venous-suppressed, contrast material-enhanced, three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance (MR) angiograms of the carotid arteries and aortic arch by using an elliptic centric view ordering with MR fluoroscopic triggering.
Materials and methods: Forty consecutive patients with cerebrovascular disease in the differential diagnosis were evaluated with fluoroscopically triggered 3D MR angiography (gadoteridol dose range, 0.1-0.3 mmol per kilogram of body weight; mean acquisition time, 40 second +/- 8 [SD]). The contrast-enhanced 3D MR angiograms were evaluated for overall quality, vascular signal intensity, venous suppression, and motion artifact. Twenty patients also underwent two-dimensional (2D) time-of-flight (TOF) MR angiography. The overall quality of the 2D TOF MR angiograms and comparative quality between the 2D TOF and contrast-enhanced 3D MR angiograms were determined.
Results: The contrast-enhanced 3D MR angiograms were of excellent or more than adequate quality for diagnosis in 36 of the 40 studies (90%). In 35 of the 38 contrast-enhanced 3D studies in which the contrast material bolus was detected fluoroscopically, the internal jugular vein signal intensity was either not detectable or barely visible. In 18 of the 20 patients who also underwent 2D TOF MR angiography, the quality of the contrast-enhanced 3D MR angiograms was graded as markedly superior or superior.
Conclusion: Contrast-enhanced, elliptic centric 3D MR angiography with real-time MR fluoroscopic triggering offers high-spatial-resolution images of the carotid arteries and aortic arch with reliable venous suppression.