Optimizing cardiac MR imaging: practical remedies for artifacts.
With ongoing technical advances in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, the clinical demand for cardiac MR evaluations has been increasing. Cardiac MR imaging techniques have evolved from traditional spin-echo sequences to breath-hold spoiled gradient-echo and balanced steady-state free precession sequences. The most recently developed techniques allow evaluation of myocardial function, perfusion, and viability; coronary angiography; flow quantification; and standard morphologic assessments. However, even with the most sophisticated acquisition techniques, artifacts commonly occur at cardiac MR imaging. Knowledge of the origin, imaging appearance, and significance of these artifacts is essential to avoid misinterpreting them as true lesions. Some artifacts are caused by simple errors in positioning of the patient, coil, or electrocardiographic leads; radiofrequency interference from nearby electronic equipment; or metallic objects within the magnetic field. Others are directly related to a specific MR imaging sequence or technique. Accelerated imaging techniques such as parallel imaging, which are used to shorten acquisition and breath-hold times in cardiac evaluations, are particularly vulnerable to artifacts. If an artifact severely degrades image quality, the acquisition should be repeated with appropriate adjustments to decrease or eliminate the problem.
Saremi, F; Grizzard, JD; Kim, RJ
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