Value CMR: Towards a Comprehensive, Rapid, Cost-Effective Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging

El Sayed H. Ibrahim, Luba Frank, Dhiraj Baruah, V. Emre Arpinar, Andrew S. Nencka, Kevin M. Koch, L. Tugan Muftuler, Orhan Unal, Jadranka Stojanovska, Jason C. Rubenstein, Sherry Ann Brown, John Charlson, Elizabeth M. Gore, Carmen Bergom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is considered the gold standard for measuring cardiac function. Further, in a single CMR exam, information about cardiac structure, tissue composition, and blood flow could be obtained. Nevertheless, CMR is underutilized due to long scanning times, the need for multiple breath-holds, use of a contrast agent, and relatively high cost. In this work, we propose a rapid, comprehensive, contrast-free CMR exam that does not require repeated breath-holds, based on recent developments in imaging sequences. Time-consuming conventional sequences have been replaced by advanced sequences in the proposed CMR exam. Specifically, conventional 2D cine and phase-contrast (PC) sequences have been replaced by optimized 3D-cine and 4D-flow sequences, respectively. Furthermore, conventional myocardial tagging has been replaced by fast strain-encoding (SENC) imaging. Finally, T1 and T2 mapping sequences are included in the proposed exam, which allows for myocardial tissue characterization. The proposed rapid exam has been tested in vivo. The proposed exam reduced the scan time from >1 hour with conventional sequences to <20 minutes. Corresponding cardiovascular measurements from the proposed rapid CMR exam showed good agreement with those from conventional sequences and showed that they can differentiate between healthy volunteers and patients. Compared to 2D cine imaging that requires 12-16 separate breath-holds, the implemented 3D-cine sequence allows for whole heart coverage in 1-2 breath-holds. The 4D-flow sequence allows for whole-chest coverage in less than 10 minutes. Finally, SENC imaging reduces scan time to only one slice per heartbeat. In conclusion, the proposed rapid, contrast-free, and comprehensive cardiovascular exam does not require repeated breath-holds or to be supervised by a cardiac imager. These improvements make it tolerable by patients and would help improve cost effectiveness of CMR and increase its adoption in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8851958
JournalInternational Journal of Biomedical Imaging
StatePublished - 2021


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