PURPOSE: To evaluate and compare findings for thoracic aortic disease with three black-blood magnetic resonance (MR) pulse sequences: half-Fourier rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE), with and without electrocardiographic (ECG) triggering, and ECG-triggered turbo spin echo (SE). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Axial black-blood MR images of the chest acquired at 1.5 T with a phased-array coil were obtained in 38 consecutive patients referred for evaluation of thoracic aortic disease. ECG-triggered and nontriggered half-Fourier RARE images were compared with T1-weighted ECG-triggered turbo SE images. Two readers independently scored images for each of the following parameters: ghosting artifacts; clarity of the mediastinum, cardiac chambers, and aortic wall; conspicuity of abnormality; intraluminal signal void uniformity; and overall image quality. RESULTS: Both half-Fourier RARE sequences outperformed the turbo SE sequence for all measured parameters. Scores for the ECG-triggered half-Fourier RARE sequence were significantly (P <.05) higher than those for the nontriggered version for clarity of the mediastinum and aortic wall, conspicuity of any abnormality other than aortic dissection, and overall image quality. Mean acquisition times for the ECG-triggered (48 seconds) and nontriggered (30 seconds) sequences were significantly shorter than that for the turbo SE sequence (2 minutes 20 seconds). CONCLUSION: Rapid black-blood half-Fourier RARE sequences, with or without ECG triggering, can replace ECG-triggered turbo SE sequences for evaluation of thoracic aortic disease.
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1999|