Nineteen infants with suspected coarctation of the aorta were studied with electrocardiographically gated magnetic resonance imaging on a 1.5 T whole body imaging system. In all cases imaging was successful and produced diagnostic images of high resolution. Coarctation was shown in 12 cases. The position and shape of the coarctation were well displayed by the magnetic resonance images. In addition, they clearly showed the relation of the coarctation to arteries arising from the aortic arch and to the length and diameter of the aortic isthmus and the distal aortic arch. The anatomy was confirmed at operation in all 12 patients, except for two with a small ductus arteriosus (arterial duct), which was not seen in the magnetic resonance images. In the seven remaining patients, coarctation was excluded. Magnetic resonance imaging produced high quality images that showed the anatomy better than other non-invasive methods. It provided all the anatomical information required for surgical correction.
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