Carotid bifurcation: MR imaging. Work in progress.
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To devise and implement an in-plane magnetic resonance angiography examination of the carotid bifurcation capable of producing high-resolution images, the authors examined 19 normal carotid arteries and 14 patients with angiographically documented disease with two flow-correction techniques: a three-gradient, velocity-refocused technique with spin-echo (SE) and gradient-echo sequences, and a four-gradient velocity- and acceleration-corrected SE technique. With use of three equal gradients in the read direction, velocity-related phase changes were minimized by placing the dephasing gradient after the 180 degree pulse and near the read gradient. Acceleration effects were minimized through the use of short echo times and cardiac gating. Both velocity- and acceleration-produced phase changes were corrected with the four-gradient scheme but at the expense of some limitations in spatial resolution. Both techniques consistently produced satisfactory images of the carotid bifurcation in healthy individuals. However, the results indicate that the present gradient-phase modulation techniques have several drawbacks, including susceptibility to patient motion, overlapping with the jugular vein, and inability to image carotid stenosis accurately due to turbulence.
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