ECG-gated MR angiography provides better reproducibility for standard aortic measurements.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Cardiac motion and aortic pulsatility can affect the image quality of 3D contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA). The addition of ECG gating improves image quality; however, no studies have directly linked image quality improvements to clinically used measures. In this study, we directly compared diameter measurements in the same patient from ECG-gated to non-gated CE-MRA to evaluate the impact of ECG gating upon measurement reproducibility. METHODS: Fifty-three patients, referred for thoracic aortic angiography, were enrolled and underwent both non-gated and ECG-gated CE-MRA. Two readers independently measured vessel diameter, image quality, and vessel sharpness at the sinus of Valsalva (SOV), sinotubular junction (STJX), ascending aorta (AAO), distal aortic arch (DLSA), and descending aorta (DAO). Measurement reliability and reproducibility were compared between methods. RESULTS: Image quality with ECG gating was rated significantly higher at the SOV (3.2 ± 0.9 vs 1.2 ± 1.0, p < 0.0001), STJX (3.4 ± 0.7 vs 1.8 ± 1.0, p < 0.0001), AAO (3.5 ± 0.6 vs 1.7 ± 1.1 p < 0.0001), DLSA (4.0 ± 0.1 vs 3.6 ± 0.7, p = 0.006), and DAO (4.0 ± 0.1 vs 3.4 ± 0.9 p < 0.0001) than for non-gated studies. Bland-Altman analyses demonstrated that inter- and intra-observer variability was significantly smaller for ECG-gated MRA at the SOV and AAO. For the non-gated images at the SOV, the 95% limits of agreement for both inter- and intra-observer variability exceeded the growth-rate cutoff for surgical repair (0.5 cm). At the DAO, variability was similar between the two techniques. CONCLUSION: ECG-gated CE-MRA resulted in improved reproducibility in aortic root and ascending aortic measurements. These data suggest that ECG-gated CE-MRA should be used for the serial assessment of the ascending thoracic aorta. KEY POINTS: • ECG-gated CE-MRA improves the reproducibility and repeatability of measurements of the ascending aorta. • With non-gated CE-MRA, pulsatile motion in the proximal aorta results in significant variability in measurement reproducibility.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith, LR; Darty, SN; Jenista, ER; Gamoneda, GL; Wendell, DC; Azevedo, CF; Parker, MA; Kim, RJ; Kim, HW

Published Date

  • July 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 5087 - 5095

PubMed ID

  • 33409772

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-1084

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00330-020-07408-1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany