Improved SNR efficiency in gradient echo coronary MRA with high temporal resolution using parallel imaging

Magn Reson Med. 2009 Nov;62(5):1211-20. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22114.


Contemporary coronary magnetic resonance angiography techniques suffer from signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) constraints. We propose a method to enhance SNR in gradient echo coronary magnetic resonance angiography by using sensitivity encoding (SENSE). While the use of sensitivity encoding to improve SNR seems counterintuitive, it can be exploited by reducing the number of radiofrequency excitations during the acquisition window while lowering the signal readout bandwidth, therefore improving the radiofrequency receive to radiofrequency transmit duty cycle. Under certain conditions, this leads to improved SNR. The use of sensitivity encoding for improved SNR in three-dimensional coronary magnetic resonance angiography is investigated using numerical simulations and an in vitro and an in vivo study. A maximum 55% SNR enhancement for coronary magnetic resonance angiography was found both in vitro and in vivo, which is well consistent with the numerical simulations. This method is most suitable for spoiled gradient echo coronary magnetic resonance angiography in which a high temporal and spatial resolution is required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Coronary Vessels / anatomy & histology*
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity