There is clear evidence in the literature that conventional spin-echo and gradient-echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is capable of assessing patency of coronary artery vein grafts. With more recently introduced breath- hold two-dimensional (2D) and contrast-enhanced 3D techniques, the predictive accuracy has further improved, with sensitivities and specificities in the 90% range. Limitations arise with regard to assessing obstructive disease and evaluating distal segments of sequential grafts, due to insufficient spatial resolution, low signal-to-noise ratio, and cardiac motion. Imaging of arterial grafts is complicated by the metallic clip artifacts. Adding information on graft flow patterns and flow reserve using velocity-encoded cine MRI may help to reduce some of the problems. Clinically, these functional measurements may become of use in non-invasive monitoring of gradually increasing graft narrowing. However, apart from a few exceptions, most patients undergo evaluation of their grafts because they are considered for a re-intervention by angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery. In these cases information on the status of the native coronary arteries is required. A broader clinical use of MRI in the evaluation of patients with coronary artery bypass grafts may therefore only be expected with further improvement in MR techniques for coronary angiography.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 1999|