Purpose: To assess lung magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with a respiratory-gated pointwise encoding time reduction with radial acquisition (PETRA) sequence at 1.5 T and compare it with imaging with a standard volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) sequence, with extra focus on the visibility of bronchi and the signal intensity of lung parenchyma.
Materials and methods: The study was approved by the local ethics committee, and all subjects gave written informed consent. Twelve healthy volunteers were imaged with PETRA and VIBE sequences. Image quality was evaluated by using visual scoring, numbering of visible bronchi, and quantitative measurement of the apparent contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). For preliminary clinical assessment, three young patients with cystic fibrosis underwent both MR imaging and computed tomography (CT). Comparisons were made by using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test for means and the McNemar test for ratios. Agreement between CT and MR imaging disease scores was assessed by using the κ test.
Results: PETRA imaging was performed with a voxel size of 0.86 mm(3). Overall image quality was good, with little motion artifact. Bronchi were visible consistently up to the fourth generation and in some cases up to the sixth generation. Mean CNR and SNR with PETRA were 32.4% ± 7.6 (standard deviation) and 322.2% ± 37.9, respectively, higher than those with VIBE (P < .001). Good agreement was found between CT and PETRA cystic fibrosis scores (κ = 1.0).
Conclusion: PETRA enables silent, free-breathing, isotropic, and submillimeter imaging of the bronchi and lung parenchyma with high CNR and SNR and may be an alternative to CT for patients with cystic fibrosis.