Purpose: To develop and evaluate a sequence for breath-hold three-dimensional gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) angiography of the abdominal aorta.
Materials and methods: In 63 patients, the abdominal aorta and its branches were imaged for 29, 43, or 58 seconds with breath holding. A fast spoiled gradient-echo sequence was used at 1.5 T during infusion of 42 mL of a gadolinium chelate. Correlation with conventional angiography was performed in 19 patients. MR image quality (signal-to-"total" noise ratio [S/N*]) with breath holding was compared with that with free breathing (104 patients).
Results: With breath-hold gadolinium-enhanced MR angiography, renal, celiac, and superior mesenteric artery occlusive disease was graded appropriately in 15 of 19 patients, and 10 of 11 accessory renal arteries were depicted correctly. Renal artery branches were visualized in 86 of 95 kidneys on breath-hold images compared with only 84 of 236 kidneys with free breathing (P < .001). Distal renal artery S/N* was 3.1 with breath holding and 2.1 with free breathing (P < .001).
Conclusion: Breath holding statistically significantly improves three-dimensional gadolinium-enhanced MR angiography of the renal, celiac, and superior mesenteric arteries.