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Whole-body magnetic resonance angiography at 3 tesla using a hybrid protocol in patients with peripheral arterial disease.

The purpose of this study was to determine the diagnostic performance of 3T whole-body magnetic resonance angiography (WB-MRA) using a hybrid protocol in comparison with a standard protocol in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). In 26 consecutive patients with PAD two different protocols were used for WB-MRA: a standard sequential protocol (n = 13) and a hybrid protocol (n = 13). WB-MRA was performed using a gradient echo sequence, body coil for signal reception, and gadoterate meglumine as contrast agent (0.3 mmol/kg body weight). Two blinded observers evaluated all WB-MRA examinations with regard to presence of stenoses, as well as diagnostic quality and degree of venous contamination in each of the four stations used in WB-MRA. Digital subtraction angiography served as the method of reference. Sensitivity for detecting significant arterial disease (luminal narrowing > or = 50%) using standard-protocol WB-MRA for the two observers was 0.63 (95%CI: 0.51-0.73) and 0.66 (0.58-0.78). Specificities were 0.94 (0.91-0.97) and 0.96 (0.92-0.98), respectively. In the hybrid protocol WB-MRA sensitivities were 0.75 (0.64-0.84) and 0.70 (0.58-0.8), respectively. Specificities were 0.93 (0.88-0.96) and 0.95 (0.91-0.97). Interobserver agreement was good using both the standard and the hybrid protocol, with kappa = 0.62 (0.44-0.67) and kappa = 0.70 (0.59-0.79), respectively. WB-MRA quality scores were significantly higher in the lower leg using the hybrid protocol compared to standard protocol (p = 0.003 and p = 0.03, observers 1 and 2). Distal venous contamination scores were significantly lower with the hybrid protocol (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01, observers 1 and 2). In conclusion, hybrid-protocol WB-MRA shows a better diagnostic performance than standard protocol WB-MRA at 3 T in patients with PAD.

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