Author + information
- Received April 13, 1987
- Revision received July 20, 1987
- Accepted August 11, 1987
- Published online January 1, 1988.
- Barbara A Kersting-Sommerhoff, MD,
- Udo P Sechtem, MD and
- Charles B Higgins, MD, FACC∗
- ↵∗Address for reprints: Charles B. Higgins, MD, Department of Radiology, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94143.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging defines the blood pool without the need for contrast medium. Consequently, it may be useful for defining the pulmonary circulation in patients with pulmonary atresia, in whom opacification of these vessels can be problematic.
Ten patients with pulmonary atresia were evaluated by gated NMR imaging. The morphology of the right ventricular outflow tract, the size and the course of the central pulmonary vessels and the source of the collateral supply to the lung were assessed. Central pulmonary arteries were identified and measured in 9 of the 10 patients. One patient had no detectable central pulmonary arteries. Angiography confirmed the NMR findings in all but two patients, in whom NMR scanning visualized a main pulmonary artery that was not seen on angiography. Collateral arteries arising from the aorta or the arch vessels, as well as intracardiac malformations and aortic arch anomalies, were identified in all 10 patients. In six patients with palliative surgery, NMR imaging correctly demonstrated all patent shunts.
Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging appears to be an effective noninvasive technique for evaluating patients with pulmonary atresia. However, tomographic thickness and spatial resolution are still limiting factors for this technique in infants.
- Received April 13, 1987.
- Revision received July 20, 1987.
- Accepted August 11, 1987.