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MAGMA. 1995 Mar;3(1):21-33.

Assessment of myocardial perfusion using contrast-enhanced MR imaging: current status and future developments.

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  • 1Research Laboratories, Schering AG, Berlin, Germany.


Excellent inherent tissue contrast is one of the great promises of clinical magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, but functional information is relatively limited. However, MR imaging complemented by the administration of contrast agents can provide such functional assessment. The perfusion status of the myocardium is one of the most important functional information in cardiovascular imaging. Because the clinical acceptance of a contrast agent is measured by its ability to improve patient outcome and to guide therapy, it is unlikely that detection of myocardial infarction, the final stage of ischemic heart disease, should be the target for contrast media development. It would obviously be better if occult regional myocardial perfusion deficits could be reliably detected. The current article was prepared to help the clinical radiologist to keep pace with new strategies for myocardial enhancement and their potential clinical applicability for detection of early perfusion deficits. Several techniques for noninvasive measurement of myocardial perfusion are currently evolving which have the potential to be introduced into routine MR imaging. Most investigators favor a first-pass analysis of the contrast agent bolus through the myocardium using ultrafast sequences. However, such a technique may require clinical introduction of a blood pool agent. There are good reasons to favor T1-weighted sequences over susceptibility imaging in such first-pass studies. In the future, assessment of myocardial perfusion status using contrast-enhanced MR imaging may be done producing perfusion maps with high spatial resolution (e.g., 256 x 128), with sequences available on most scanners without special hardware requirements (e.g., IR-Turboflash, keyhole imaging), and requiring only a short period of time for examination (approximately 3 min).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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