Three-dimensional flow-independent balanced steady-state free precession vessel wall MRI of the popliteal artery: Preliminary experience and comparison with flow-dependent black-blood techniques

Keigo Kawaji, Thanh D. Nguyen, Zhitong Zou, Beatriu Reig, Priscilla A. Winchester, Andrew Shih, Pascal Spincemaille, Martin R. Prince, Yi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the feasibility of flow-independent T2-prepared inversion recovery (T2IR) black-blood (BB) magnetization preparation for three-dimensional (3D) balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) vessel wall MRI of the popliteal artery, and to evaluate its performance relative to flow-dependent double inversion recovery (DIR), spatial presaturation (SPSAT), and motion-sensitizing magnetization preparation (MSPREP) BB techniques in healthy volunteers. Materials and Methods: Eleven subjects underwent 3D MRI at 1.5 Tesla with four techniques performed in a randomized order. Wall and lumen signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), wall-to-lumen contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), vessel wall area, and lumen area were measured at proximal, middle, and distal locations of the imaged popliteal artery. Image quality scores based on wall visualization and degree of intraluminal artifacts were also obtained. Results: In the proximal region, DIR and SPSAT had higher wall SNR and wall-to-lumen CNR than both MSPREP and T2IR. In the middle and distal regions, DIR and SPSAT failed to provide effective blood suppression, whereas MSPREP and T2IR provided adequate black blood contrast with comparable wall-to-lumen CNR and image quality. Conclusion: The feasibility of 3D SSFP imaging of the popliteal vessel wall using flow-independent T2IR was demonstrated with effective blood suppression and good vessel wall visualization. Although DIR and SPSAT are effective for thin slab imaging, MSPREP and T2IR are better suited for 3D thick slab imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-701
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2011



  • T2 prepared inversion recovery
  • black blood
  • flow independent
  • motion-sensitizing magnetization preparation
  • popliteal artery
  • vessel wall imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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