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J Magn Reson Imaging. 1999 Sep;10(3):423-33.

Magnetic resonance perfusion imaging in ischemic heart disease.

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Laboratoire CREATIS, UMR CNRS 5515, Hôpital Cardiologique, and INSA, 69394 Lyon, France.


This review explores the present status of contrast media available for myocardial perfusion studies, the magnetic resonance (MR) sequences adapted to multi-slice first-pass acquisitions, and the issue of myocardial perfusion quantification. To date, only low molecular weight paramagnetic gadolinium chelates have been used in clinical protocols for myocardial perfusion. With the availability of fast MR acquisition techniques to follow the first-pass distribution of the contrast agent in the myocardium, the bolus tracking technique represents the more widely used protocol in MR perfusion studies. On T1-weighted imaging, the ischemic zone appears with a delayed and lower signal enhancement compared with normally perfused myocardium. Visual analysis of the image series can be greatly improved by image post-processing to obtain relative myocardial perfusion maps. With an intravascular tracer, myocardial kinetics are in theory easier to analyze in terms of perfusion. In experimental studies, different intravascular or blood pool MR contrast agents have been tested to measure quantitative perfusion parameters. If a simple flow-limited kinetic model is developed with MR contrast agents, one important clinical application will be the evaluation of the functional consequence of coronary stenoses, ie, non-invasive evaluation of the coronary reserve.

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