Superiority of prone position in free-breathing 3D coronary MRA in patients with coronary disease

Matthias Stuber, Peter G. Danias, Rene M. Botnar, Daniel K. Sodickson, Kraig V. Kissinger, Warren J. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Navigator-gated and corrected 3D coronary MR angiography (MRA) allows submillimeter image acquisition during free breathing. However, cranial diaphragmatic drift and relative phase shifts of chest-wall motion are limiting factors for image quality and scanning duration. We hypothesized that image acquisition in the prone position would minimize artifacts related to chest-wall motion and suppress diaphragmatic drift. Twelve patients with radiographically-confirmed coronary artery disease and six healthy adult volunteers were studied in both the prone and the supine position during free-breathing navigator-gated and corrected 3D coronary MRA. Image quality and the diaphragmatic positions were objectively compared. In the prone position, there was a 36% improvement in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR; 15.5 ± 2.7 vs. 11.4 ± 2.6; P < 0.01) and a 34% improvement in CNR (12.5 ± 3.3 vs. 9.3 ± 2.5, P < 0.01). The prone position also resulted in a 17% improvement in coronary vessel definition (P < 0.01). Cranial end-expiratory diaphragmatic drift occurred less frequently in the prone position (23% ± 17% vs. 40% ± 26% supine; P <0.05), and navigator efficiency was higher. Prone coronary MRA results in improved SNR and CNR with enhanced coronary vessel definition. Cranial endexpiratory diaphragmatic drift also was reduced, and navigator efficiency was enhanced. When feasible, prone imaging is recommended for free-breathing coronary MRA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Free-breathing 3D coronary MRA
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Navigator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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