Assessment of left ventricular function by breath-hold cine MR imaging: Comparison of different steady-state free precession sequences

R Peter Kunz, Florian Oellig, Frank Krummenauer, Katja Oberholzer, Bernd Romaneehsen, Toni W Vomweg, Georg Horstick, Carmel Hayes, Manfred Thelen, Karl-Friedrich Kreitner
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging: JMRI 2005, 21 (2): 140-8

PURPOSE: To compare steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequence protocols with different acquisition times (TA) and temporal resolutions (tRes) due to the implementation of a view sharing technique called shared phases for the assessment of left ventricular (LV) function by breath-hold cine magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: End-diastolic and end-systolic volumes (EDV, ESV) were measured in contiguous short-axis slices with a thickness of 8 mm acquired in 10 healthy male volunteers. The following true fast imaging with steady-state precession (TrueFISP) sequence protocols were compared: protocol A) internal standard of reference, segmented: tRes 34.5 msec, TA 18 beats per slice; protocol B) segmented, shared phases: tRes 34.1 msec, TA 10 beats per slice; and protocol C) real-time, shared phases, parallel acquisition technique: tRes 47.3 msec, TA 24 beats for 12 slices covering the entire left ventricle.

RESULTS: Phase sharing leads to a significant decrease in EDV, stroke volume (SV), and ejection fraction (EF) (median difference -7.0 mL [*], -9.6 mL, and -3.4%, respectively, for protocol B; -15.3 mL, -13.3 mL, and -2.4% for protocol C; P = 0.002, *P = 0.021). The observed median difference of real-time EDV and SV estimates is of clinical relevance. Real-time cine MR imaging shows a greater variability of EDV and SV. No relevant differences in ESV were observed.

CONCLUSION: The true cine frame duration of both shared phases sequence protocols exceeds the period of isovolumetric contraction (IVCT) of the left ventricle resulting in a systematic and significant underestimation of EDV and consequently SV and EF. SSFP sequence protocol parameters, particularly tRes and use of view sharing techniques, should therefore be known at follow-up examinations in order to be able to assess LV remodeling in patients with heart failure.

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