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Eur Radiol. 2005 May;15(5):851-63. Epub 2005 Jan 29.

MRI in guiding and assessing intramyocardial therapy.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, 94143-0628, USA.


Cardiovascular intervention, using MRI guidance, is challenging for clinical applications. Real-time imaging sequences with high spatial resolution are needed for monitoring intramyocardial delivery of drug, gene, or stem cell therapies. New generation MR scanners make local intramyocardial and vascular wall therapies feasible. Contrast-enhanced MRI is used for assessing myocardial ischemia, infarction, and scar tissue. Active (microcoils) and passive (T1 and T2* mechanisms) tracking methods have been used for visualization of endovascular catheters. Safety issues related to potential heating of endovascular devices is still a major obstacle for MRI-guided interventions. Fabrication of MRI-compatible interventional devices is limited. Noninvasive imaging strategies will be critical in defining spatial and temporal characteristics of angiogenesis and myocardial repair as well as in assessing the efficacy of new therapies in ischemic heart disease. MRI contrast media improve the capability of MRI by delineating the target and vascular tree. Labeling stem cells enables MRI to trace distribution, differentiation, and survival in myocardium and vascular wall. In the long term, MRI in guiding and assessing intramyocardial therapy may circumvent the limitations of peripherally administered cell therapy, X-ray angiography, and nuclear imaging. MRI represents a highly attractive discipline whose systematic development will foster the implementation of new cardiac and vascular therapies.

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