To compare the image quality and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) quantification between free-breathing motion-corrected and conventional breath-hold LGE method in a variety of cardiovascular diseases.
149 consecutive patients underwent contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance examination employing both free-breathing motion-corrected LGE and conventional breath-hold LGE method. Scan time, contrast-to-noise ratio, overall image quality score and LGE mass were measured and analyzed statistically.
Free-breathing motion-corrected LGE method had a shorter scan time and higher overall image quality score in comparison with conventional breath-hold LGE method (p < 0.001). Univariate/multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that breath-holding difficulty, high heart rate and arrhythmia could be predictive factors possibly for an inferior image quality score (p < 0.05 for all). The contrast-to-noise ratios of free-breathing motion-corrected LGE images were higher than those of conventional breath-hold LGE images (p < 0.001). In the cases with subepicardial and/or transmural myocardial enhancement, the measured LGE masses were larger on free-breathing motion-corrected LGE images in comparison with those on conventional breath-hold LGE images (p < 0.05).
Free-breathing motion-corrected LGE could be a better choice for patients who need contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI and have one or more of the risk factors for an inferior image quality score, including breath-holding difficulty, high heart rate and arrhythmia. However, an overestimation of LGE mass on free-breathing motion-corrected LGE image should be taken into consideration when LGE pattern involves subepicardial and/or transmural myocardium.

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