Peripheral arterial disease in a symptomatic diabetic population: Prospective comparison of rapid unenhanced MR angiography (MRA) with contrast-enhanced MRA

Philip A. Hodnett*, Emily V. Ward, Amir H. Davarpanah, Timothy G. Scanlon, Jeremy D. Collins, Christopher B. Glielmi, Xiaoming Bi, Ioannis Koktzoglou, Navyash Gupta, James C. Carr, Robert R. Edelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The joint guidelines of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association support the use of contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CEMRA) to diagnose the location and degree of stenosis in patients with known or suspected peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The high prevalence of chronic renal impairment in diabetic patients with PAD and the need for high doses of gadolinium-based contrast agents place them at risk for nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the accuracy of the rapid technique of quiescent-interval single-shot (QISS) unenhanced MR angiography (MRA) compared with CEMRA for the diagnosis in diabetic patients referred with symptomatic chronic PAD. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. This prospective two-center study evaluated 25 consecutive diabetic patients with documented or suspected symptomatic PAD. Both centers used identical imaging protocols. Images were independently analyzed by two radiologists. A subgroup analysis was performed of patients who were also assessed with digital subtraction angiography (DSA) as part of the standard-of-care protocol before revascularization. RESULTS. For this study, 775 segments were analyzed. On a per-segment basis, the mean values of the diagnostic accuracy of unenhanced MRA compared with reference CEMRA for two reviewers, reviewers 1 and 2, were as follows: sensitivity, 87.4% and 92.1%; specificity, 96.8% and 96.0%; positive predictive value, 90.8% and 94.0%; and negative predictive value, 95.5% and 94.6%. Substantial agreement was found when overall DSA results were compared with QISS unenhanced MRA (κ = 0.68) and CEMRA (κ = 0.63) in the subgroup of patients who also underwent DSA. There was almost perfect agreement between the two readers for stenosis scores, with Cohen's kappa values being greater than 0.80 for both MRA techniques. CONCLUSION. The results of our study indicate that QISS unenhanced MRA is an accurate noncontrast alternative to CEMRA for showing clinically significant arterial disease in patients with diabetes with symptomatic PAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1466-1473
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Contrast-enhanced MR angiography
  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Quiescent-interval single-shot (QISS) MR angiography
  • Unenhanced MR angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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