Cardiothoracic Magnetic Resonance Angiography

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2024 Jan-Feb;53(1):154-165. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2023.10.001. Epub 2023 Oct 21.


Catheter-based angiography is regarded as the clinical reference imaging technique for vessel imaging; however, it is invasive and is currently used for intervention or physiologic measurements. Contrast enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) with gadolinium-based contrast agents can be performed as a three-dimensional (3D) MRA or as a time resolved 3D (4D) MRA without physiologic synchronization, in which case cardiac and respiratory motion may blur the edges of the vessels and cardiac chambers. Ferumoxytol has recently been a popular contrast agent for MRA in patients with chronic renal failure. Noncontrast 3D MRA with ECG gating and respiratory navigation are safe and accurate noninvasive cross-sectional imaging techniques for the visualization of great vessels of the heart and coronary arteries in a variety of cardiovascular disorders including complex congenital heart diseases. Noncontrast flow dependent MRA techniques such as time of flight, phase contrast, and black-blood MRA techniques can be used as complementary or primary techniques. Here we review both conventional and relatively new contrast enhanced and non-contrast enhanced MRA techniques including ferumoxytol enhanced MRA, and bright-blood and water-fat separation based noncontrast 3D MRA techniques.

Keywords: Angiography; Contrast; Ferumoxytol; Gadolinium; MRI; Magnetic resonance angiography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Ferrosoferric Oxide*
  • Heart
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography* / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Ferrosoferric Oxide
  • Contrast Media