Purpose: Navigator-gated three-dimensional (3D) late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging demonstrates scarring following ablation of atrial fibrillation. An artifact originating from the slice-selective navigator-restore pulse is frequently present in the right pulmonary veins (PVs), obscuring the walls and making quantification of enhancement difficult. We describe a simple sequence modification to greatly reduce or remove this artifact.
Methods: A navigator-gated inversion-prepared gradient echo sequence was modified so that the slice-selective navigator-restore pulse was delayed in time from the nonselective preparation (NAV-restore-delayed). Both NAV-restore-delayed and conventional 3D LGE acquisitions were performed in 11 patients and the results compared.
Results: One patient was excluded due to severe respiratory motion artifact in both NAV-restore-delayed and conventional acquisitions. Moderate to severe artifact was present in 9 of the remaining 10 patients using the conventional sequence and was considerably reduced when using the NAV-restore-delayed sequence (ostial PV to blood pool ratio, 1.7 ± 0.5 versus 1.1 ± 0.2, respectively [P < 0.0001]; qualitative artifact scores, 2.8 ± 1.1 versus 1.2 ± 0.4, respectively [P < 0.001]). While navigator signal-to-noise ratio was reduced with the NAV-restore-delayed sequence, respiratory motion compensation was unaffected.
Conclusions: Shifting the navigator-restore pulse significantly reduces or eliminates navigator artifact. This simple modification improves the quality of 3D LGE imaging and potentially aids late enhancement quantification in the atria.
Keywords: artifact; late gadolinium enhancement imaging; navigator; pulmonary veins.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.