PURPOSE: Pre-interventional assessment of atrial wall thickness (AWT) and of subject-specific variations in the anatomy of the pulmonary veins may affect the success rate of RF ablation procedures for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). This study introduces a novel non-contrast enhanced 3D whole-heart sequence providing simultaneous information on the cardiac anatomy-including both the arterial and the venous system-(bright-blood volume) and AWT (black-blood volume).
METHODS: The proposed MT-prepared bright-blood and black-blood phase sensitive inversion recovery (PSIR) BOOST framework acquires 2 differently weighted bright-blood volumes in an interleaved fashion. The 2 data sets are then combined in a PSIR-like reconstruction to obtain a complementary black-blood volume for atrial wall visualization. Image-based navigation and non-rigid respiratory motion correction are exploited for 100% scan efficiency and predictable acquisition time. The proposed approach was evaluated in 11 healthy subjects and 4 patients with AF scheduled for RF ablation.
RESULTS: Improved depiction of the cardiac venous system was obtained in comparison to a T2 -prepared BOOST implementation, and quantified AWT was shown to be in good agreement with previously reported measurements obtained in healthy subjects (right atrium AWT: 2.54 ± 0.87 mm, left atrium AWT: 2.51 ± 0.61 mm). Feasibility for MT-prepared BOOST acquisitions in patients with AF was demonstrated.
CONCLUSION: The proposed motion-corrected MT-prepared BOOST sequence provides simultaneous non-contrast pulmonary vein depiction as well as black-blood visualization of atrial walls. The proposed sequence has a large spectrum of potential clinical applications and further validation in patients is warranted.