Rapid ungated myocardial perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance: Preliminary diagnostic accuracy

Alexis Harrison, Ganesh Adluru, Kavitha Damal, Akram M. Shaaban, Brent Wilson, Daniel Kim, Chris McGann, Nassir F. Marrouche, Edward V R Dibella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Myocardial perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is a well-established method for detection of ischemic heart disease. However, ECG gating problems can result in image degradation and non-diagnostic scans, particularly in patients with arrhythmias. Methods. A turboFLASH saturation recovery pulse sequence was used without any ECG triggering. One saturation pulse followed by 4-5 slices of undersampled radial k-space images was acquired rapidly, on the order of 40-50 msec per image. The acquisition of the set of 4-5 slices was continuously repeated approximately 4 times per second. An iterative constrained reconstruction method was used to reconstruct the ungated images. The ungated perfusion images were post-processed into three different sets of images (ungated, self-gated to near systole, and self-gated to near diastole). To test the ungated approach and compare the different processing methods, 8 patients scheduled for coronary angiography underwent stress and rest perfusion imaging with the ungated acquisition. Six patients had a history of atrial fibrillation (AF). Three blinded readers assessed image quality and presence/absence of disease. Results: All 8 subjects successfully completed the perfusion CMR protocol and 7/8 underwent coronary angiography. Three patients were in atrial fibrillation during CMR. Overall, the CMR images were of high quality as assessed by the three readers. There was little difference in image quality between patients in AF compared to those in sinus rhythm (3.6±0.7 vs. 3.3±0.5). Stress/rest perfusion imaging showed normal perfusion in 4 patients, fixed perfusion defects in 2 patients, and reversible perfusion defects in 2 patients, corresponding with angiographic results. Pooled results from the independent readers gave a sensitivity of 0.92 (CI 0.65-0.99) and specificity of 0.92 (CI 0.65-0.99) for the detection of coronary artery disease using ungated perfusion imaging. The same sensitivity, and a specificity of 1 (CI 0.76-1), was achieved when the images were self-gated after acquisition into near systole or near diastole. Conclusions: Ungated radial dynamic perfusion CMR can give high quality imaging in patients in sinus rhythm and during atrial fibrillation. In this small cohort, high diagnostic accuracy was possible with this rapid perfusion imaging sequence. An ungated approach simplifies the acquisition and could expand the role of perfusion CMR to include patients with arrhythmia and those with gating problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Cardiac perfusion
  • Contrast-enhanced MRI
  • ECG
  • Gating
  • Myocardial perfusion imaging
  • Ungated cardiac MR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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