European Radiology

, Volume 13, Issue 10, pp 2353–2357 | Cite as

Toward comparability of coronary magnetic resonance angiography: proposal for a standardized quantitative assessment

  • Martijn S. DirksenEmail author
  • Hildo J. Lamb
  • Rob van der Geest
  • Albert de Roos


A method is proposed for the quantitative assessment of coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) acquisitions. The method is based on four parameters: signal-to-noise ratio (SNR); contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR); vessel length; and vessel-edge definition. A pig model (n=7) was used to illustrate the proposed quantitative analysis method. Three-dimensional gradient-echo coronary MRA was performed with and without exogenous contrast enhancement using a gadolinium-based blood-pool contrast agent (Vistarem, Guerbet, Aulnay-Sous-Bois, France). The acquired images could be well differentiated based on the four parameters. The SNR was calculated as 9.0±1.4 vs 10.4±2.1, the CNR as 6.2±0.8 vs 8.2±0.9, the vessel length as 48.2±11.6 vs 86.5±13.8 mm, and the vessel-edge definition as 4.9±1.5 vs 7.7±3.4. Different coronary MRA techniques can be evaluated objectively with the combined use of SNR, CNR, vessel length, and vessel-edge parameters.


Coronary vessel diseases Image quality Image analysis MR 


Acknowledgements. The authors acknowledge J. Doornbos from the Department of Radiology of the Leiden University Medical Center for technical support. This work was supported by the Schering visiting research fellowship grant funded by Schering AG, as part of the ECR Research and Education Grant 2002 (H.J. Lamb, Leiden, The Netherlands).


  1. 1.
    Kim WY, Danias PG, Stuber M et al. (2001) Coronary magnetic resonance angiography for the detection of coronary stenoses. N Engl J Med 345:1863–1869PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    van Geuns RJ, Wielopolski PA, de Bruin HG et al. (2000) MR coronary angiography with breath-hold targeted volumes: preliminary clinical results. Radiology 217:270–277PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sandstede JJ, Pabst T, Beer M et al. (1999) Three-dimensional MR coronary angiography using the navigator technique compared with conventional coronary angiography. Am J Roentgenol 172:135–139Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Huber A, Nikolaou K, Gonschior P et al. (1999) Navigator echo-based respiratory gating for three-dimensional MR coronary angiography: results from healthy volunteers and patients with proximal coronary artery stenoses. Am J Roentgenol 173:95–101Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Botnar RM, Stuber M, Danias PG, Kissinger KV, Manning WJ (1999) Improved coronary artery definition with T2-weighted, free-breathing, three-dimensional coronary MRA. Circulation 99:3139–3148PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wielopolski PA, van Geuns RJ, de Feyter PJ, Oudkerk M (1998) Breath-hold coronary MR angiography with volume-targeted imaging. Radiology 209:209–219PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Stuber M, Botnar RM, Danias PG, Kissinger KV, Manning WJ (1999) Submillimeter three-dimensional coronary MR angiography with real-time navigator correction: comparison of navigator locations. Radiology 212:579–587PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fayad ZA, Fuster V, Fallon JT et al. (2000) Noninvasive in-vivo human coronary artery lumen and wall imaging using black-blood magnetic resonance imaging. Circulation 102:506–510PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pruessmann KP, Weiger M, Boesiger P (2001) Sensitivity encoded cardiac MRI. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 3:1–9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Börnert P, Aldefeld B, Nehrke K (2001) Improved 3D spiral imaging for coronary MR angiography. Magn Reson Med 45:172–175CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dougherty L, Connick TJ, Mizsei G (2001) Cardiac imaging at 4 T. Magn Reson Med 45:176–178CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dirksen MS, Lamb HJ, Kunz P et al. (2003) Improved MR coronary angiography with use of a new rapid-clearance blood-pool-contrast-agent in pigs. Radiology 227:802–808PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Li D, Zheng J, Weinmann HJ (2001) Contrast-enhanced MR imaging of coronary arteries: comparison of intra- and extravascular contrast agents in swine. Radiology 218:670–678PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hofman MB, Henson RE, Kovacs SJ et al. (1999) Blood-pool-agent strongly improves 3D magnetic resonance coronary angiography using an inversion pre-pulse. Magn Reson Med 41:360–367CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zheng J, Li D, Cavagna FM et al. (2001) Contrast-enhanced coronary MR angiography: relationship between coronary artery delineation and blood T1. J Magn Reson Imaging 14:348–354CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Li D, Carr JC, Shea SM et al. (2001) Coronary arteries: magnetization-prepared contrast-enhanced three-dimensional volume-targeted breath-hold MR angiography. Radiology 219:270–277PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stuber M, Botnar RM, Danias PG et al. (1999) Contrast agent-enhanced, free-breathing, three-dimensional coronary magnetic resonance angiography. J Magn Reson Imaging 10:790–799CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kessler W, Laub G, Achenbach S et al. (1999) Coronary arteries: MR angiography with fast contrast-enhanced three-dimensional breath-hold imaging—initial experience. Radiology 210:566–572PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Taupitz M, Schnorr J, Wagner S et al. (2001) Coronary magnetic resonance angiography: experimental evaluation of the new rapid-clearance blood-pool contrast medium P792. Magn Reson Med 46:932–938CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Port M, Corot C, Rousseaux O et al. (2001) P792: a rapid-clearance blood-pool-agent for magnetic resonance imaging: preliminary results. MAGMA 12:121–127PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Stillman AE, Wilke N, Jerosch-Herold M (1997) Use of an intravascular T1 contrast agent to improve MR cine myocardial: blood-pool definition in man. J Magn Reson Imaging 7:765–767PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sandstede JJ, Pabst T, Wacker C et al. (2001) Breath-hold 3D MR coronary angiography with a new intravascular contrast agent (feruglose): first clinical experiences. Magn Reson Imaging 19:201–205CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Taylor AM, Panting JR, Keegan J et al. (1999) Safety and preliminary findings with the intravascular contrast agent NC100150 injection for MR coronary angiography. J Magn Reson Imaging 9:220–227CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Quick HH, Debatin JF, Ladd ME (2002) MR imaging of the vessel wall. Eur Radiol 12:889–900CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martijn S. Dirksen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hildo J. Lamb
    • 1
  • Rob van der Geest
    • 1
  • Albert de Roos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyC2-S, Leiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations