In contrast-enhanced (CE) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography (MRA), lower injection rates of a fixed contrast agent dose provide longer contrast agent bolus at the expense of lower intravascular signal. This study evaluated the effect of different injection rates in imaging of the vasculature of the lower extremities with time-resolved, CE MRA. In three volunteers, injection rates of 0.5, 1.5 and 3.0 mL/second were administered in a randomized order and imaged in two separate sessions. Contrast agent bolus dynamics measured in volunteers were used in computer simulations to confirm variations in contrast agent concentration as a source of vessel ringing and blurring artifacts. To validate the effect of injection rate in pathologic vessels, 37 patients with peripheral vascular disease were imaged with a time-resolved technique using an injection rate of 0.5 mL/second or 1.5 mL/second and retrospectively divided into two groups. In volunteers, higher injection rates caused a stronger modulation of k-space and resulted in increased ringing artifacts in time-resolved CE MRA. These results were reproduced with computer simulations. In the qualitative patient study, significantly less vessel blurring was observed using a lower injection-rate, without a significant loss of vessel contrast.
- Contrast injection
- MR angiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging