Technical Aspect of Contrast-Enhanced MRA



Although MR angiography (MRA) has revolutionized imaging of vascular diseases, the complicated nature of blood/soft tissue contrast mechanisms and the unique artifacts associated with each of the many techniques have made it challenging for referring physicians to become comfortable interpreting noncontrast MRA studies. Fortunately, contrast-enhanced (CE) MRA provides the type of contrast arteriogram that clinicians and radiologists are comfortable interpreting while eliminating the risks of radiation, iodinated contrast, and arterial catheterization (Zhang et al. Semin Roentgenol 44: 84–98, 2009). Just like DSA and CTA, CE-MRA provides reliable enhancement of the arterial lumen during the arterial phase of the Gd bolus injection. Although MR imaging is slower than DSA or CTA, advances in magnet technology, gradient performance, pulse sequence design, and MR contrast agents continue to improve CE-MRA image quality such that it rivals DSA in accuracy for diagnosing vascular anomalies and diseases. This chapter describes the basic principles underlying CE-MRA techniques, approaches to optimizing applications throughout the body, and methods of contrast agent bolus timing.


Contrast Agent Compute Tomographic Angiography Arterial Phase Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis High Injection Rate 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyWeill Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew YorkUSA

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