Comparison of nonenhanced MR angiographic subtraction techniques for infragenual arteries at 1.5 T: A preliminary study

Ruth P. Lim, Zhaoyang Fan, Manjil Chatterji, Amanjit Baadh, Iliyana P. Atanasova, Pippa Storey, Danny C. Kim, Sooah Kim, Philip A. Hodnett, Afhsan Ahmad, David R. Stoffel, James S. Babb, Mark A. Adelman, Jian Xu, Debiao Li, Vivian S. Lee

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Purpose: To evaluate diagnostic performance of three nonenhanced methods: variable-refocusing-flip angle (FA) fast spin-echo (SE)-based magnetic resonance (MR) angiography (variable FA MR) and constant-refocusing-FA fast SE-based MR angiography (constant-FA MR) and flowsensitive dephasing (FSD)-prepared steady-state free precession MR angiography (FSD MR) for calf arteries, with dual-injection three-station contrast material-enhanced MR angiography (gadolinium-enhanced MR) as reference. Materials and Methods: This prospective study was institutional review board approved and HIPAA compliant, with informed consent. Twenty-one patients (13 men, eight women; mean age, 62.6 years) underwent calf-station variable-FA MR, constant-FA MR, and FSD MR at 1.5 T, with gadolinium-enhanced MR as reference. Image quality and stenosis severity were assessed in 13 segments per leg by two radiologists blinded to clinical data. Combined constant-FA MR and FSD MR reading was also performed. Methods were compared (logistic regression for correlated data) for diagnostic accuracy. Results: Of 546 arterial segments, 148 (27.1%) had a hemodynamically significant (≥ 50%) stenosis. Image quality was satisfactory for all nonenhanced MR sequences. FSD MR was significantly superior to both other sequences (P < .0001), with 5-cm smaller field of view; 9.6% variable-FA MR, 9.6% constant-FA MR, and 0% FSD MR segmental evaluations had nondiagnostic image quality scores, mainly from high diastolic flow (variable-FA MR) and motion artifact (constant- FA MR). Stenosis sensitivity and specificity were highest for FSD MR (80.3% and 81.7%, respectively), compared with those for constant-FA MR (72.3%, P = .086; and 81.8%, P = .96) and variable-FA MR (75.9%, P = .54; and 75.6%, P = .22). Combined constant-FA MR and FSD MR had superior sensitivity (81.8%) and specificity (88.3%) compared with constant-FA MR (P = .0076), variable-FA MR (P = .0044), and FSD MR (P = .0013). All sequences had an excellent negative predictive value (NPV): 93.2%, constant-FA MR; 94.7%, variable-FA MR; 91.7%, FSD MR; and 92.9%, combined constant-FA MR and FSD MR. Conclusion: At 1.5 T, all evaluated nonenhanced MR angiographic methods demonstrated satisfactory image quality and excellent NPV for hemodynamically significant stenosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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