Magnetization Transfer BOOST Noncontrast Angiography Improves Pulmonary Vein Imaging in Adults With Congenital Heart Disease

Imran Rashid*, Giulia Ginami, Giovanna Nordio, Anastasia Fotaki, Radhouene Neji, Harith Alam, Kuberan Pushparajah, Alessandra Frigiola, Israel Valverde, René M. Botnar, Claudia Prieto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Cardiac MRI plays an important role in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). Gadolinium-based contrast agents are often needed to overcome flow-related and off-resonance artifacts that can impair the quality of conventional noncontrast 3D imaging. As serial imaging is often required in CHD, the development of robust noncontrast 3D MRI techniques is desirable. Purpose: To assess the clinical utility of noncontrast enhanced magnetization transfer and inversion recovery prepared 3D free-breathing sequence (MTC-BOOST) compared to conventional 3D whole heart imaging in patients with CHD. Study type: Prospective, image quality. Population: A total of 27 adult patients (44% female, mean age 30.9 ± 14.8 years) with CHD. Field Strength/Sequence: A 1.5 T; free-breathing 3D MTC-BOOST sequence. Assessment: MTC-BOOST was compared to diaphragmatic navigator-gated, noncontrast T2 prepared 3D whole-heart imaging sequence (T2prep-3DWH) for comparison of vessel dimensions, lumen-to-myocardium contrast ratio (CR), and image quality (vessel wall sharpness and presence and type of artifacts) assessed by two experienced cardiologists on a 5-point scale. Statistical Tests: Mann–Whitney test, paired Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Bland–Altman plots. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: MTC-BOOST significantly improved image quality and CR of the right-sided pulmonary veins (PV): (CR: right upper PV 1.06 ± 0.50 vs. 0.58 ± 0.74; right lower PV 1.32 ± 0.38 vs. 0.81 ± 0.73) compared to conventional T2prep-3DWH imaging where the PVs were not visualized in some cases due to off-resonance effects. MTC-BOOST demonstrated resistance to degradation of luminal signal (assessed by CR) secondary to accelerated or turbulent flow conditions. T2prep-3DWH had higher image quality scores than MTC-BOOST for the aorta and coronary arteries; however, great vessel dimensions derived from MTC-BOOST showed excellent agreement with standard T2prep-3DWH imaging. Data Conclusion: MTC-BOOST allows for improved contrast-free imaging of pulmonary veins and regions characterized by accelerated or turbulent blood flow compared to standard T2prep-3DWH imaging, with excellent agreement of great vessel dimensions. Evidence Level: 1. Technical Efficacy: Stage 2.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Early online date21 Jun 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2022


  • 3D whole heart imaging
  • congenital heart disease
  • magnetization Transfer


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