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Radiology. 1991 Sep;180(3):671-5.

Magnetization transfer contrast in MR imaging of the heart.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The use of magnetization transfer contrast (MTC) in short-echo-time (TE) cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was evaluated. For most cardiac MR imaging protocols, either long TE and short repetition time or exogenous intravascular agents are used for generating contrast between the ventricular wall and cavity as well as detecting pathologic conditions of the ventricular wall. The major problem with long-TE images is that the motion of the heart degrades the spatial resolution of the image during the TE period. However, MTC is generated by an off-resonance irradiation during the interpulse delay period that is relatively insensitive to motion artifacts. Short-TE (5-15 msec) gradient-recalled echo sequences were used for imaging the heart with and without MTC. These studies revealed that MTC can be used to greatly improve the contrast between the myocardial wall and blood chamber in short-TE images and may provide useful parameters for tissue characterization in pathologic cardiac muscle.

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