Orthogonal measurement of thoracic aorta luminal diameter using ECG-gated high-resolution contrast-enhanced MR angiography

William R. Bireley, Lincoln O. Diniz*, Elliott M. Groves, Karin Dill, Timothy J. Carroll, James C. Carr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare orthogonal measurements of the thoracic aortic luminal diameter to standard axial measurements within the same patient population using ECG-gated high-resolution contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA). Materials and Methods: In all, 45 consecutive patients who had undergone CE-MRA for suspected disease of the thoracic aorta were evaluated retrospectively. Two diameter measurement techniques were performed for each patient's thoracic aorta: standard axial and orthogonal to the aorta. Seven anatomic locations along the thoracic aorta were used for measurement. The data obtained were compared using a paired, two-tailed t-test. Results: We found that the aorta diameter measurements acquired from axial MRA images were significantly greater (P < 0.05) than those acquired from images orthogonal to the course of the aorta at six of seven anatomic sites. Overall, standard axial measurements were found to overestimate luminal diameter of the thoracic aorta by 0.24 cm (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.14, 0.33) compared to orthogonal measurements. 13.3% of the patients were placed into a greater aorta size classification based on the axial versus the orthogonal measurements. Conclusion: Standard axial measurements can overestimate vessel size of the thoracic aorta. ECG-gated high-resolution CE-MRA can be used to measure orthogonal diameters of the thoracic aorta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1480-1485
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Aortic luminal diameter measurement
  • MR angiography
  • Thoracic aorta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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