Three-dimensional MR imaging of the pulmonary vasculature: preliminary experience.
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The design and implementation of a rapid three-dimensional, gradient-echo magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technique that uses short echo and repetition times are described. This technique was used to evaluate patients with pulmonary vascular disease. The technique has demonstrated the potential of acquiring high-resolution pulmonary vascular information with good image quality and little image degradation from moving blood and respiratory motion. Nearly isotropic data collection allows multiplanar and maximum-intensity projection reconstructions to depict local regions in the lungs. In the present study, 15 volunteers and 10 patients were examined. High-quality images were obtained in all 15 volunteers and in six patients. The technique presented demonstrates that MR imaging is capable of generating good to excellent pulmonary vascular images in approximately 10-13 minutes in the thoracic region, showing that this approach may prove useful for a wide variety of applications.
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