PURPOSE: To determine whether breath holding can be eliminated in two-dimensional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the coronary arteries by using real-time respiratory gating. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-one subjects (20 healthy volunteers, 11 patients) underwent MR imaging. In 13 subjects, a respiratory monitoring belt was used, and in 18 subjects, a navigator echo was used. MR imaging was performed with breath holding, respiratory gating, and respiratory gating with two signals acquired. Three reviewers conducted a blinded review of the images, and overall image quality was rated on a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). RESULTS: Respiratory gating with two signals acquired provided image quality superior to that with breath-hold imaging (3.7 vs 3.0, respectively; P < .05). Measurements of signal-to-noise ratio (14.5 for respiratory gating with two signals acquired and 11.9 for breath holding) supported the results of the image review. Navigator-echo gating provided better image quality than the monitoring belt (3.7 vs 3.1, respectively; P < .05). CONCLUSION: Breath holding may be eliminated by gating image acquisition to a real-time monitor of respiratory position. Respiratory gating enables improved resolution by means of acquisition of multiple signals, provides aligned sections of coronary arteries, and improves patient tolerance.
- Magnetic Resonance Angiography
- Coronary Vessels
- Middle Aged