Influence of high magnetic field strengths and parallel acquisition strategies on image quality in cardiac 2D CINE magnetic resonance imaging: comparison of 1.5 T vs. 3.0 T


  • M. Gutberlet
  • K. Schwinge
  • P. Freyhardt
  • B. Spors
  • M. Grothoff
  • T. Denecke
  • L. Luedemann
  • R. Noeske
  • T. Niendorf
  • R. Felix


  • European Radiology


  • Eur Radiol 15 (8): 1586-1597


  • The aim of this paper is to examine signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and image quality of cardiac CINE imaging at 1.5 T and 3.0 T. Twenty volunteers underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations using a 1.5-T and a 3.0-T scanner. Three different sets of breath-held, electrocardiogram-gated (ECG) CINE imaging techniques were employed, including: (1) unaccelerated SSFP (steady state free precession), (2) accelerated SSFP imaging and (3) gradient-echo-based myocardial tagging. Two-dimensional CINE SSFP at 3.0 T revealed an SNR improvement of 103% and a CNR increase of 19% as compared to the results obtained at 1.5 T. The SNR reduction in accelerated 2D CINE SSFP imaging was larger at 1.5 T (37%) compared to 3.0 T (26%). The mean SNR and CNR increase at 3.0 T obtained for the tagging sequence was 88% and 187%, respectively. At 3.0 T, the duration of the saturation bands persisted throughout the entire cardiac cycle. For comparison, the saturation bands were significantly diminished at 1.5 T during end-diastole. For 2D CINE SSFP imaging, no significant difference in the left ventricular volumetry and in the overall image quality was obtained. For myocardial tagging, image quality was significantly improved at 3.0 T. The SNR reduction in accelerated SSFP imaging was overcompensated by the increase in the baseline SNR at 3.0 T and did not result in any image quality degradation. For cardiac tagging techniques, 3.0 T was highly beneficial, which holds the promise to improve its diagnostic value.