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New MRI Approaches to Evaluating Cardiac Structure, Function, and Flow

Kolloquium der Abteilung 8

Cardiovascular MRI is a remarkable technology for exploring cardiovascular structure, function, flow, and remodeling. The last decade has given rise to remarkable advances in image acquisition and analysis speed, which leads to new opportunities to work with clinicians and redefine patient diagnosis and prognosis. This talk will review several recent advances from our lab.

One central development is a generalized GRadient waveform OPTimization (GrOpt) scheme to enable more time-optimal SNR-efficient imaging for a variety of applications. The GrOpt scheme is very fast, multi-vendor, and open-source. When applied to 4D-flow MRI the result is a shorter exam time by encoding at the limits of the available gradient hardware. Additional optimization constraints can be incorporated, for example, to mitigate eddy currents or limit peripheral nerve stimulation. The application of GrOpt to diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) produces spin-echo EPI images without eddy current induced distortion. Similarly, gradient moment constraints can be added to mitigate bulk motion artifacts, which enables DWI in the beating heart.

These in vivo diffusion tensor estimates of microstructural organization can be coupled with measures of myocardial motion to enable estimates of local cardiomyocyte aggregate strain, which mechanistically drives cardiac function. Taken together these recent advances provide new avenues for evaluation of cardiovascular structure, function, and flow using MRI.