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Int J Card Imaging. 1997 Jun;13(3):205-18.

MR first pass imaging: quantitative assessment of transmural perfusion and collateral flow.

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Department of Radiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


Recent advances with fast switching gradient coils, and the optimization of magnetic resonance techniques for multislice imaging have made it possible to apply models of contrast agent transit for the quantification of myocardial perfusion, and determination of the transmural distribution of blood flow. This article summarizes some of these recent developments and presents examples of quantitative, multi-slice myocardial perfusion imaging studies in patients and animal models. Multi-slice, true first pass imaging, with high temporal resolution, and T1-weighted, arrhythmia insensitive contrast enhancement is used for the quantification of perfusion changes accompanying mild to severe ischemia. The first pass imaging technique and the modeling approach are sufficiently robust for fitting of tissue residue curves corresponding to a wide, physiologically realistic range of myocardial blood flows. In animals this was validated by comparison to blood flow measurements with radiolabeled microspheres as gold standard. It is demonstrated that with the proposed modeling approach one can determine the myocardial perfusion reserve from two consecutive MR first pass measurements under resting and hyperemic conditions. In patients with microvascular dysfunction the MR studies show for the first time that the myocardial perfusion reserve correlates with Doppler flow measurements (linear regression with slope of 1.02 +/- 0.09; r = 0.80). Since perfusion limitations usually begin in the subendocardium as coronary flow is gradually reduced, first pass imaging with the prerequisitie spatial and temporal resolution allows early detection of a mild coronary stenosis.

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