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Quality Assessment of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Images at 1.5/3.0 T: Description and Validation of Standardized Criteria
Title of the conference
RSNA 2011, 97th Scientific Assembly and 2011 Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America
Chicago, Illinois, United-States, November 27-December 2, 2011
PURPOSE: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has become a robust and important diagnostic imaging modality in cardiovascular medicine. However,insufficient image quality may compromise its diagnostic accuracy. No standardized criteria are available to assess the quality of CMR studies. We aimed todescribe and validate standardized criteria to evaluate the quality of CMR studies including: a) cine steady-state free precession, b) delayed gadoliniumenhancement, and c) adenosine stress first-pass perfusion. These criteria will serve for the assessment of the image quality in the setting of the Euro-CMR registry.METHOD AND MATERIALS: First, a total of 45 quality criteria were defined (35 qualitative criteria with a score from 0-3, and 10 quantitative criteria). Thequalitative score ranged from 0 to 105. The lower the qualitative score, the better the quality. The quantitative criteria were based on the absolute signal intensity (delayed enhancement) and on the signal increase (perfusion) of the anterior/posterior left ventricular wall after gadolinium injection. These criteria were then applied in 30 patients scanned with a 1.5T system and in 15 patients scanned with a 3.0T system. The examinations were jointly interpreted by 3 CMR experts and 1 study nurse. In these 45 patients the correlation between the results of the quality assessment obtained by the different readers was calculated.RESULTS: On the 1.5T machine, the mean quality score was 3.5. The mean difference between each pair of observers was 0.2 (5.7%) with a mean standarddeviation of 1.4. On the 3.0T machine, the mean quality score was 4.4. The mean difference between each pair of onservers was 0.3 (6.4%) with a meanstandard deviation of 1.6. The quantitative quality assessments between observers were well correlated for the 1.5T machine: R was between 0.78 and 0.99 (pCONCLUSION: The described criteria for the assessment of CMR image quality are robust and have a low inter-observer variability, especially on 1.5T systems.CLINICAL RELEVANCE/APPLICATION: These criteria will allow the standardization of CMR examinations. They will help to improve the overall quality ofexaminations and the comparison between clinical studies.
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