Optimized pulse sequences for magnetic resonance measurement of aortic cross sectional areas

Michael H. Buonocore, Hugo Bogren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study was done to improve the ability of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to provide clear cross-sectional images of the ascending and descending aorta in diastole. The study was motivated by interest in measuring the regional compliance of the ascending aorta, which requires determination of the change in cross sectional area of the vessel between systole and diastole. In diastolic images, residual signal from slow flowing blood and flow artifact consistently obscured the inner boundary of the aortic wall and precluded tracing and measurement of the cross sectional area. We concluded that cross sectional area measurement of the ascending aorta was impossible on our system using standard spin echo sequences. To improve wall delineation in diastolic images, SAT pulses were optimized with respect to pulse timing, slice thickness, and gap. Optimized SAT pulses greatly improved the delineation of the vessel wall by removing unwanted signal from flowing spins. Measurement precision was vastly improved by running two scans with and without flow compensation, and correlating visually and numerically the area measurements from each. We established that each image should be measured by two independent observers and traced three times by each. Using these procedures, diastolic cross-sectional areas of the mid-ascending aorta could be measured with a precision of 2.5%, and the change of cross-sectional area between systole and diastole could be measured with a precision of 10.8%. These measurements were precise enough to detect CAD patients with low aortic compliance from the age-matched controls previously reported in one study. The test based on cross sectional area measurement, with a false positive detection rate of 5%, had a false negative rate of 58%. Compliance measurements by MR at 1.5 T could become clinically useful if normal and abnormal populations are sufficiently separated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-447
Number of pages13
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


  • Aorta, MR studies
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), experimental
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), pulse sequences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Structural Biology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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