Vascular diseases today constitute a serious health burden, ranking atherosclerosis as number one in the morbidity and mortality statistics of developed countries, with a still-growing incidence. Different treatment options are available for all vascular territories, ranging from conservative pharmacological treatment and catheter-based interventions up to surgical methods with remodelling of the vessels or bypass implantation. For treatment planning, all listed procedures have in common that they rely on initial diagnostic imaging to assess the degree and extent of stenoses. In this respect, imaging of the arterial system from the head down to the feet seems to be reasonable. Up to now no imaging technique allowed the assessment of the complete arterial system in only one exam within a reasonable time and without limiting factors like invasiveness and ionizing radiation. However, recent developments in magnetic resonance (MR) hardware and software, such as dedicated whole-body MR systems with specially designed surface coils, the movement to higher field strength and the implementation of parallel acquisition techniques (PAT), have helped to overcome the long-standing limitations of MR angiography (MRA), like reduced spatial resolution, long acquisition time, the restriction to body parts and only one field of view of a maximum 50 cm.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1925-1936
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 20.05.2008


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