In this study, pulmonary MR angiography (MRA) using a tailored coil at 4 Tesla in conjunction with an intravenous injection of contrast agent is described. Three-dimensional gradient-echo images were obtained during the intravenous injection of 0.05, 0.1, and 0.2 mmol/kg body weight of gadodiamide to investigate the signal enhancement effect of the contrast agent in pulmonary arteries qualitatively and quantitatively. In the qualitative analysis, the subsegmental branches were visualized on every dose. In the quantitative analysis, the average contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs) of the main pulmonary arteries increased in a dose-dependent manner. However, the CNRs of segmental arteries did not increase as the dose of contrast agent increased, as observed at 1.5 Tesla MRI. These observations demonstrate the feasibility of delineating the pulmonary vasculature using a contrast agent; however, our results also suggest possible high-field-related disabilities that need to be overcome before high-field (≥4 Tesla) MRI can be used to full advantage.
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