PURPOSE: To investigate pulmonary vein (PV) off-resonance and blood flow as causes of signal void artifacts in noncontrast steady-state-free-precession (SSFP) PV magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: PV blood off-resonance was measured on 11 healthy adult subjects and 10 atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Noncontrast PV MRA was performed using a 3D slab-selective SSFP sequence at 1.5T on seven healthy subjects with signal profile shifts of 0-125 Hz. The time-resolved blood flow velocity of the PVs was measured on five healthy subjects. The impact of flow was studied on six healthy subjects, on whom SSFP PV MRA was acquired twice with the electrocardiogram (ECG) trigger delay corresponding to low and high flow, respectively.
RESULTS: The PV off-resonances were 97 ± 27 Hz, 65 ± 20 Hz, 74 ± 25 Hz, and 52 ± 17 Hz for right inferior, left inferior, right superior, and left superior PVs, respectively, on healthy subjects, and 74 ± 20 Hz, 38 ± 9 Hz, 51 ± 20 Hz, and 28 ± 11 Hz on AF patients (P<0.01 for all). The off-resonance caused severe signal voids in the PVs. Signal acquired during mid-diastole with high PV flow caused additional signal voids in the left atrium, which was reduced by setting the ECG trigger delay to late-diastole.
CONCLUSION: PV off-resonance and flow causes signal void artifacts in noncontrast 3D slab-selective SSFP PV MRA.