Direct monitoring of coronary artery motion with cardiac fat navigator echoes
Magnetic Resonance Angiography
Navigator echoes (NAVs) provide an effective means of monitoring physiological motion in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Motion artifacts can be suppressed by adjusting the data acquisition accordingly. The standard pencil-beam NAV has been used to detect diaphragm motion; however, it does not monitor cardiac motion effectively. Here we report a navigator approach that directly measures coronary artery motion by exciting the surrounding epicardial fat and sampling the signal with a k-space trajectory sensitized to various motion parameters. The present preliminary human study demonstrates that superior-inferior (SI) respiratory motion of the coronary arteries detected by the cardiac fat NAV highly correlates with SI diaphragmatic motion detected by the pencil-beam NAV. In addition, the cardiac fat navigator gating is slightly more effective than the diaphragmatic navigator gating in suppressing motion artifacts in free-breathing 3D coronary MR angiography (MRA).