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PURPOSE: To investigate left atrial volumes and function and their variability in healthy volunteers using steady state free precession (SSFP) and fast low angle shot (FLASH) sequences at both 1.5 and 3 T using both the short-axis and biplane area-length methods. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten healthy volunteers underwent CMR at both 1.5 and 3 Tesla. The biplane area-length method utilized volumes from the horizontal and vertical long axis images. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between left atrial short-axis volumes or function between 1.5 and 3 T assessed using either FLASH or SSFP sequences. The biplane area-length method underestimated maximal left atrial volume using FLASH by 12 mL at 3 T (18%) and by 10 mL (14%) at 1.5 T (p = 0.003 and p = 0.05 respectively). Variability was larger for left atrial measurements using the biplane area-length method. CONCLUSION: Field strength had no effect on left atrial volume and function assessment using either FLASH or SSFP. The use of the short-axis method for the acquisition of left atrial parameters is more reproducible than the biplane area-length for serial measurements.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cardiovasc Magn Reson

Publication Date





673 - 679


Adult, Cardiac Volume, Female, Heart Atria, Humans, Image Enhancement, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Linear Models, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine, Male, Organ Size, Reproducibility of Results