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Contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary MRA at 3.0T for the evaluation of cardiac venous anatomy


This study was designed to evaluate the value of contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary MRA (CMRA) at 3.0T in depicting the cardiac venous anatomy. In cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), left ventricular (LV) pacing is achieved by positioning the LV lead in one of the tributaries of the coronary sinus (CS). Pre-implantation knowledge of the venous anatomy may help determine whether transvenous LV lead placement for CRT is feasible. Images of 51 subjects undergoing contrast-enhanced whole-heart CMRA at 3.0T were retrospectively analyzed. Data acquisition was performed using electrocardiography-triggered, navigator-gated, inversion-recovery prepared, segmented gradient-echo sequence. A 32-element cardiac coil was used for data acquisition. The visibility of the cardiac veins was graded visually using a 4-point scale (1: poor-4: excellent). The paired Student t test was used to evaluate differences in diameters of the ostium of the CS in anteroposterior and superoinferior direction. The cardiac veins were finally evaluated in 48 subjects with three anatomic variations. The diameter of the CS ostium in the superoinferior direction (1.13 ± 0.26 cm) was larger than in the anteroposterior direction (0.82 ± 0.19 cm) (P < 0.05). The mean visibility score of CS, posterior interventricular vein, posterior vein of the left ventricle, left marginal vein, and anterior interventricular vein was 4.0 ± 0.0, 3.4 ± 0.5, 3.4 ± 0.5, 3.0 ± 0.8, and 3.3 ± 0.5, respectively. In conclusion, contrast-enhanced whole-heart CMRA at 3.0T can depict the normal and variant cardiac venous anatomy.

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