Three-dimensional dual-phase whole-heart MR imaging: clinical implications for congenital heart disease

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Purpose: To identify which rest phase (systolic or diastolic) is optimum for assessing or measuring cardiac structures in the setting of three-dimensional (3D) whole-heart imaging in congenital heart disease (CHD).

Materials and Methods: The study was approved by the institutional review board; informed consent was obtained. Fifty children (26 male and 24 female patients) underwent 3D dual-phase whole-heart imaging. Cardiac structures were analyzed for contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and image quality. Cross-sectional measurements were taken of the aortic arch, right ventricular (RV) outflow tract (RVOT) and pulmonary arteries. Normally distributed variables were compared by using paired t tests, and categorical data were compared by using Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

Results: Mean CNR and image quality were significantly (all P < .05) greater in systole for the right atrium (CNR, 8.9 vs 7.5; image quality, 438 vs 91), left atrium (CNR, 8.0 vs 5.3; image quality, 1006 vs 29), RV (CNR, 10.6 vs 8.2; image quality, 131 vs 23), LV (CNR, 9.4 vs 7.7; image quality, 125 vs 28), and pulmonary veins (CNR, 6.2 vs 4.9; image quality, 914 vs 32). Conversely, diastolic CNR was significantly higher in the aorta (9.2 vs 8.2; P = .013) and diastolic image quality was higher for the left pulmonary artery (238 vs 62; P = .007), right pulmonary artery (219 vs 35; P < .001), and for imaging of an area after an arterial stenosis (164 vs 7; P,.001). All aortic arch and RVOT cross-sectional measurements were significantly (P,.05) greater in systole (narrowest point of arch, 70 vs 53 mm(2); descending aorta, 71 vs 58 mm2; transverse arch, 293 vs 275 mm2; valvar RVOT, 291 vs 268 mm2; supravalvar RVOT, 337 vs 280 mm2; prebifurcation RVOT, 329 vs 259 mm2).

Conclusion: Certain structures in CHD are better imaged in systole and others in diastole, and therefore, the dual-phase approach allows a higher overall success rate. This approach also allows depiction of diameter changes between systole and diastole and is therefore preferable to standard single-phase sequences for the planning of interventional procedures. (C) RSNA, 2012

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-554
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Child
  • Diastole
  • Child, Preschool
  • Infant
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Cardiac-Gated Imaging Techniques
  • Adolescent
  • Systole
  • Heart Defects, Congenital
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Male
  • Female


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