CT and MR imaging of the thoracic aorta: current techniques and clinical applications

Radiol Clin North Am. 2004 May;42(3):565-85, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2004.03.005.


Disease of the thoracic aorta can present with a broad clinical spectrum of symptoms and signs. The accepted diagnostic gold standard, selective digital subtraction angiography, is now being challenged by state-of-the-art CT angiography (CTA) and MR angiography(MRA). Currently, in many centers, cross-sectional imaging modalities are being used as the first line of diagnosis to evaluate the cardiovascular system, and conventional angiography is reserved for therapeutic intervention. Understanding the principles of CTA and MRA techniques is essential to acquire diagnostic images consistently. This article reviews current CTA and MRA methods used in the evaluation of thoracic aortic disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiography / methods*
  • Aorta, Thoracic*
  • Aortic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Aortic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Contrast Media
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Contrast Media