To evaluate three-dimensional (3D), free-breathing, steady-state free precession (SSFP) magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) for volumetric assessment of ventricular function.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
In 18 subjects (mean age = 21.5 years) 3D datasets of the heart and great vessels were acquired using an ECG-triggered, free-breathing SSFP technique with a T2-preparation prepulse. Data were acquired during end-systole (ES) and end-diastole (ED) for assessment of stroke volumes (SVs). Through-plane flow measurements of the great arteries were performed as well as 2D-cine SSFP imaging for comparison. For image analysis of the 3D SSFP datasets a simplex mesh model was used. Papillary muscles were excluded from ventricular volumes using thresholds. Intra- and interobserver variability (Bland-Altman analysis) and correlations (Pearson's coefficient) between volumetric and flow measurements were assessed.
ES and ED datasets were acquired successfully in all subjects. The best correlation was observed between flow vs. 3D SSFP SV for the LV (r = 0.85, mean difference = -1.0 mL) and the RV (r = 0.89, mean difference = -2.2 mL) with high intra- (LV: r = 0.93; RV: r = 0.94) and interobserver (LV: r = 0.91; RV: r = 0.93) reproducibility.
3D SSFP datasets combined with semiautomatic segmentation algorithms allow highly accurate and reproducible assessment of left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) SVs in free-breathing subjects.