2010 Volume 66 Issue 8 Pages 863-869
Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) is frequently performed in body and extremity studies because of its superior ability to detect the vascular stenosis. However, nephrotoxicity of the contrast medium has been emphasized in recent years. Non-contrast MRA using the three-dimensional electrocardiogram-synchronized fast spin echo method (FBI, NATIVE and TRANCE) is recommended as a substitute for CE-MRA. There are a few reports in the literature that evaluate the detectability of vascular stenosis using non-contrast MRA on 3.0 T MRI. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the detectability of vascular stenosis using non-contrast MRA at 3.0 T with an original vascular phantom. The vascular phantom consisted of silicon tubes. 30% and 70% stenosis of luminal diameter were made. Each silicon tube connected a pump producing a pulsatile flow. A flowing material to was used in this study to show the similarity of the intensity to blood on MRI. MRA without a contrast medium (NATIVE sequence) were performed in the vascular phantom by changing the image matrix, static magnetic field strength and flow velocity. In addition, the NATIVE sequence was used with or without flow compensation. Vascular stenosis was quantitatively estimated by measurement of the signal intensities in non-contrast MRA images. MRA with NATIVE sequence demonstrated an accurate estimation of 30% vascular stenosis at slow flow velocity. However, 30% stenosis was overestimated in cases of high flow velocity. Estimation was improved by using a flow compensation sequence. 70% stenosis was overestimated on MRA with NATIVE sequence. Estimation of 70% stenosis was improved by using a flow compensation sequence. Accurate estimation of vascular stenosis in MRA with a NATIVE sequence is improved by using the flow compensation technique. MRA with NATIVE sequence is considered to be a promising method for the evaluation of patients with severe renal dysfunction as a substitute for CT angiography or CE-MRA.