Purpose: Most existing non-contrast-enhanced methods for abdominal MR arteriography rely on a spatially selective inversion (SSI) pulse with a delay to null both static tissue and venous blood, and are limited to small spatial coverage due to the sensitivity to slow arterial inflow. Velocity-selective inversion (VSI) based approach has been shown to preserve the arterial blood inside the imaging volume at 1.5 T. Recently, velocity-selective saturation (VSS) pulse trains were applied to suppress the static tissue and have been combined with SSI pulses for cerebral MR arteriography at 3 T. The aim of this study is to construct an abdominal MRA protocol with large spatial coverage at 3 T using advanced velocity-selective pulse trains. Methods: Multiple velocity-selective MRA protocols with different sequence modules and 3D acquisition methods were evaluated. Sequences using VSS only as well as SSI+VSS and VSI+VSS preparations were then compared among a group of healthy young and middle-aged volunteers. Using MRA without any preparations as reference, relative signal ratios and relative contrast ratios of different vascular segments were quantitatively analyzed. Results: Both SSI+VSS and VSI+VSS arteriograms achieved high artery-to-tissue and artery-to-vein relative contrast ratios above aortic bifurcation. The SSI+VSS sequence yielded lower signal at the bilateral iliac arteries than VSI+VSS, reflecting the benefit of the VSI preparation for imaging the distal branches. Conclusion: The feasibility of noncontrast 3D MR abdominal arteriography was demonstrated on healthy volunteers using a combination of VSS pulse trains and SSI or VSI pulse.
- abdominal MRA
- non-contrast-enhanced MRA
- velocity-selective pulse train