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Eur J Radiol. 2008 Jan;65(1):15-28.

Cardiac MRI of ischemic heart disease at 3 T: potential and challenges.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53792-3252, United States. owieben@wisc.edu

Abstract

Cardiac MRI has become a routinely used imaging modality in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and is considered the clinically accepted gold standard modality for the assessment of cardiac function and myocardial viability. In recent years, commercially available clinical scanners with a higher magnetic field strength (3.0 T) and dedicated multi-element coils have become available. The superior signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of these systems has lead to their rapid acceptance in cranial and musculoskeletal MRI while the adoption of 3.0 T for cardiovascular imaging has been somewhat slower. This review article describes the benefits and pitfalls of magnetic resonance imaging of ischemic heart disease at higher field strengths. The fundamental changes in parameters such as SNR, transversal and longitudinal relaxation times, susceptibility artifacts, RF (B1) inhomogeneity, and specific absorption rate are discussed. We also review approaches to avoid compromised image quality such as banding artifacts and inconsistent or suboptimal flip angles. Imaging sequences for the assessment of cardiac function with CINE balanced SSFP imaging and MR tagging, myocardial perfusion, and delayed enhancement and their adjustments for higher field imaging are explained in detail along with several clinical examples. We also explore the use of parallel imaging at 3.0 T to improve cardiac imaging by trading the SNR gain for higher field strengths for acquisition speed with increased coverage or improved spatial and temporal resolution. This approach is particularly useful for dynamic applications that are usually limited to the duration of a single breath-hold.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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