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J Nucl Cardiol. 2007 Sep-Oct;14(5):729-44.

MRI of left ventricular function.

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  • 1Departments of Radiology and Biomedical, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is widely recognized as the most accurate noninvasive imaging modality for the assessment of left ventricular (LV) function. By use of state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, electrocardiography (ECG)-gated cine images depicting LV function with high contrast and excellent spatial and temporal resolution are readily acquired in breath-holds of 5 to 10 heartbeats. For patients in whom breath-holding and ECG gating are difficult, real-time cine imaging without ECG gating and breath-holding can be performed. LV function can be qualitatively assessed from cine images, or alternatively, parameters such as LV volumes, ejection fraction, and mass may be quantified via computer-based analysis software. In addition, techniques such as myocardial tagging and newer variants can be used to qualitatively or quantitatively assess regional intramyocardial strain, twist, and torsion. Many of the CMR methods have undergone clinical evaluation in the settings of high-dose dobutamine stress testing and determination of myocardial viability. These methods are also very accurate for prognosis in coronary heart disease patients and may be quite useful for the detection of contractile dyssynchrony. When used together with other CMR techniques such as first-pass perfusion imaging or late gadolinium enhancement, CMR of LV function provides a wealth of information in a single imaging study.

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