, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 588-595
Date: 17 Aug 2012

In vitro stent lumen visualisation of various common and newly developed femoral artery stents using MR angiography at 1.5 and 3 tesla

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To evaluate stent lumen assessment of various commonly used and newly developed stents for the superficial femoral artery (SFA) using MR angiography (MRA) at 1.5 and 3 T.


Eleven nitinol stents and one cobalt-chromium stent were compared regarding stent lumen visualisation using a common three-dimensional MRA sequence. Maximum visible stent lumen width and contrast ratio were analysed in three representative slices for each stent type. A scoring system for lumen visualisation was applied.


Nitinol stents showed significantly better performance than the cobalt chromium stent (P < 0.05) at 1.5 and 3 T. Maximum visible stent lumen ranged between 43.4 and 95.5 %, contrast ratio between 7.2 and 110.6 %. Regarding both field strengths, seven of the nitinol stents were classified as “suitable”. Three nitinol stents were “limited”, and one nitinol stent and the cobalt chromium stent were “not suitable”.


Intraluminal loss of signal and artefacts of most of the SFA stents do not markedly limit assessment of stent lumen by MRA at 1.5 and 3 T. MRA can thus be considered a valid technique for detection of relevant in-stent restenosis. Applied field strength does not strongly influence stent lumen assessment in general, but proper choice of field strength might be helpful.

Key Points

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is now widely used instead of digital subtraction angiography

MRA can be considered valid for detection of relevant femoral in-stent restenosis

Applied field strength does not strongly influence lumen assessment of SFA stents

But appropriate choice of field strength might be helpful for some stents