Head-to-head comparison of eight late gadolinium-enhanced cardiac MR (LGE CMR) sequences at 1.5 tesla: from bench to bedside

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 Dec;34(6):1374-87. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22783. Epub 2011 Oct 3.


Purpose: To compare-theoretically and experimentally-clinically available two-dimensional/three-dimensional (2D/3D), breathhold and non-breathhold, inversion-recovery (IR) gradient-echo (GRE) sequences used to differentiate between nonviable injured and normal myocardium with late gadolinium-enhanced techniques (IR-GRE2D sequence is used as a reference), and to evaluate their respective clinical benefit.

Materials and methods: Six breathhold (2D-IR-GRE, 3D-IR-GRE, balanced steady-state free precession 2D-IR-bSSFP and 3D-IR-bSSFP, phase-sensitive 2D-PSIR-GRE, and 2D-PSIR-bSSFP) and two non-breathhold late gadolinium-enhanced techniques (single-shot 2D-ssbSSFP and 2D-PSIR-ssbSSFP) were consecutively performed in 32 coronary artery disease patients with chronic myocardial infarction. Qualitative assessment and manual planimetry were performed by two independent observers. Quantitative assessment was based on percentage signal intensity elevation between injured and normal myocardium and contrast-to-noise ratio. Theoretical simulations were compared with experimental measurements performed on phantoms with various concentrations of gadolinium.

Results: The 3D-IR-GRE image quality appeared better than the other 2D and 3D sequences, showing better delineation of complex nontransmural lesions, with significantly higher percentage signal intensity and contrast-to-noise ratio. PSIR techniques appeared more limited in differentiating sub-endocardial lesions and intracavity blood pool, but in all other cases were comparable to the other techniques. Single-shot PSIR-ssbSSFP appeared to be a valuable alternative technique when breathhold cannot be achieved.

Conclusion: We recommend 3D-IR-GRE as the method of choice for late gadolinium-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gadolinium*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Phantoms, Imaging


  • Gadolinium