Morphologic and functional evaluation of coronary artery bypass conduits

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-740
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of magnetic resonance imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1999


  • Coronary artery graft
  • MRI
  • Patency

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