Simultaneous bright- and black-blood whole-heart MRI for noncontrast enhanced coronary lumen and thrombus visualization

Magn Reson Med. 2018 Mar;79(3):1460-1472. doi: 10.1002/mrm.26815. Epub 2017 Jul 19.


Purpose: To develop a 3D whole-heart Bright-blood and black-blOOd phase SensiTive (BOOST) inversion recovery sequence for simultaneous noncontrast enhanced coronary lumen and thrombus/hemorrhage visualization.

Methods: The proposed sequence alternates the acquisition of two bright-blood datasets preceded by different preparatory pulses to obtain variations in blood/myocardium contrast, which then are combined in a phase-sensitive inversion recovery (PSIR)-like reconstruction to obtain a third, coregistered, black-blood dataset. The bright-blood datasets are used for both visualization of the coronary lumen and motion estimation, whereas the complementary black-blood dataset potentially allows for thrombus/hemorrhage visualization. Furthermore, integration with 2D image-based navigation enables 100% scan efficiency and predictable scan times. The proposed sequence was compared to conventional coronary MR angiography (CMRA) and PSIR sequences in a standardized phantom and in healthy subjects. Feasibility for thrombus depiction was tested ex vivo.

Results: With BOOST, the coronary lumen is visualized with significantly higher (P < 0.05) contrast-to-noise ratio and vessel sharpness when compared to conventional CMRA. Furthermore, BOOST showed effective blood signal suppression as well as feasibility for thrombus visualization ex vivo.

Conclusion: A new PSIR sequence for noncontrast enhanced simultaneous coronary lumen and thrombus/hemorrhage detection was developed. The sequence provided improved coronary lumen depiction and showed potential for thrombus visualization. Magn Reson Med 79:1460-1472, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords: black-blood; bright-blood; coronary MR angiography; whole-heart.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Swine