The broad, long-term objective of this proposal is to improve the prognosis of patients with arterial disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Contrast-enhanced imaging is the clinically accepted conventional method for MRA. However, patients with renal insufficiency who receive gadolinium- based agents are at risk for developing a debilitating and a potentially fatal disease known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. The purpose of the proposed project is to develop a new non-contrast-enhanced MRA technique. Two sets of ECG-triggered, cardiac phase-resolved 3D images will be acquired with and without flow sensitized dephasing (FSD) preparation, respectively. In systole, steady state free precession (SSFP) imaging generates bright blood signals for both arteries and veins, independent of flow, while images acquired with FSD preparation show black blood arteries and bright blood veins because FSD preparation causes dramatic signal loss to fast flowing arterial blood but has little effect on slow flowing venous blood and background tissue. Subtraction of the two image sets will show arteries only. The "black-blood" images can also be used for arterial wall evaluation to quantify plaque burden. Therefore, this technique has the potential for simultaneous MRA and arterial wall imaging of the entire body.
Specific aims of the project are: (1) To develop the cardiac phase-resolved, FSD-prepared, self-gated 3D SSFP technique for simultaneous MRA and arterial wall imaging. Four tasks will be performed: (a) A self-gating method will be developed to eliminate potential image artifacts due to motion (e.g., swallowing during carotid MRA and respiratory motion for renal MRA). (b) SSFP will be improved for consistent bright blood MRA in the presence of flow. (c) FSD preparation and data acquisition schemes will be optimized to maximize contrast to noise ratio between arterial blood and background/vein for MRA and vessel wall imaging in carotid, renal, and peripheral arteries. (d) k-t parallel imaging will be optimized to improve the speed of cardiac phase-resolved MRA and vessel wall imaging. (2) To verify that the non-contrast MRA and vessel wall imaging technique can accurately depict artery stenoses and quantify plaque burden in patients. Three groups of patients with carotid, renal, and peripheral artery disease, respectively, will be studied. Contrast-enhanced MRA and single-slice turbo spin echo techniques will be used as the reference methods for MRA and wall imaging, respectively. The end point of the project is the development and initial clinical validation of a new non-contrast- enhanced MRA approach capable of simultaneous MRA and arterial wall imaging of the entire body.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Medical Imaging Study Section (MEDI)
Program Officer
Evans, Frank
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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles
United States
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Xie, Yibin; Fan, Zhaoyang; Saouaf, Rola et al. (2015) Adaptive online self-gating (ADIOS) for free-breathing noncontrast renal MR angiography. Magn Reson Med 73:312-7
Liu, Xin; Zhang, Na; Fan, Zhaoyang et al. (2014) Detection of infragenual arterial disease using non-contrast-enhanced MR angiography in patients with diabetes. J Magn Reson Imaging 40:1422-9
Fan, Zhaoyang; Yu, Wei; Xie, Yibin et al. (2014) Multi-contrast atherosclerosis characterization (MATCH) of carotid plaque with a single 5-min scan: technical development and clinical feasibility. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 16:53
Liu, Xin; Fan, Zhaoyang; Zhang, Na et al. (2014) Unenhanced MR angiography of the foot: initial experience of using flow-sensitive dephasing-prepared steady-state free precession in patients with diabetes. Radiology 272:885-94
Lim, Ruth P; Fan, Zhaoyang; Chatterji, Manjil et al. (2013) Comparison of nonenhanced MR angiographic subtraction techniques for infragenual arteries at 1.5 T: a preliminary study. Radiology 267:293-304
Fan, Zhaoyang; Zuehlsdorff, Sven; Liu, Xin et al. (2012) Prospective self-gating for swallowing motion: a feasibility study in carotid artery wall MRI using three-dimensional variable-flip-angle turbo spin-echo. Magn Reson Med 67:490-8
Liu, Qi; Fan, Zhaoyang; Yang, Qi et al. (2012) Peripheral arterial wall imaging using contrast-enhanced, susceptibility-weighted phase imaging. J Comput Assist Tomogr 36:77-82
Fan, Zhaoyang; Hodnett, Philip A; Davarpanah, Amir H et al. (2011) Noncontrast magnetic resonance angiography of the hand: improved arterial conspicuity by multidirectional flow-sensitive dephasing magnetization preparation in 3D balanced steady-state free precession imaging. Invest Radiol 46:515-23
Sheehan, John J; Fan, Zhaoyang; Davarpanah, Amir H et al. (2011) Nonenhanced MR angiography of the hand with flow-sensitive dephasing-prepared balanced SSFP sequence: initial experience with systemic sclerosis. Radiology 259:248-56
Fan, Zhaoyang; Zhou, Xiangzhi; Bi, Xiaoming et al. (2011) Determination of the optimal first-order gradient moment for flow-sensitive dephasing magnetization-prepared 3D noncontrast MR angiography. Magn Reson Med 65:964-72

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