Functional LGE Imaging: Cardiac Phase-Resolved Assessment of Focal Fibrosis

Sebastian Weingartner, Omer Burak Demirel, Chetan Shenoy, Lothar R. Schad, Jeanette Schulz-Menger, Mehmet Akcakaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMR) is a central tool for diagnosis of various ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathies. CMR protocols commonly comprise assessment of functional properties using cardiac phase-resolved CINE MRI and characterization of myocardial viability using late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging. Conventional LGE imaging requires inversion recovery preparation with a specific inversion time to null the healthy myocardium, which restricts the acquisition to a single cardiac phase. In turn, this necessitates separate scans for cardiac function and viability. In this work, we develop a new method for functional LGE imaging in a single breath-hold using a three-step approach: 1) ECG-triggered multi-contrast data is acquired for each cardiac phase, 2) semi-quantitative relaxation maps are generated, 3) LGE imaging contrast is synthesized based on the semi-quantitative maps. The proposed functional LGE method is evaluated in four healthy subject and 20 patients at 1.5T and 3T. Thorough suppression of the healthy myocardium, as well as 40-80ms temporal resolution are achieved, with no visually apparent temporal blurring at tissue interfaces. Functional LGE in patients with focal scar demonstrates robust hyperenhancement in the scar area throughout all cardiac phases, allowing for visual assessment of scar motility. The proposed technique bears the potential to simplify and speedup common cardiac imaging protocols, while enabling improved data fusion of functional and viability information for improved evaluation of CMR.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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