The heart is a dynamic, beating organ, and until now it has been challenging to fully capture its complexity by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In an ideal world, doctors could create a 3-D visual representation of each patient’s unique heart and watch as it pumps, moving through each phase of the cardiac cycle. Andrew Powell, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiac Imaging at Boston Children’s Hospital, and his physicist colleague Mehdi Hedjazi Moghari, PhD, have taken steps toward realizing this vision: 3D cine.
The standard cardiac MRI includes multiple 2D image slices stacked next to each other that must be carefully positioned by the MRI technologist based on a patient’s anatomy. Planning the location and angle for the slices requires a highly-knowledgeable operator and takes time.
Powell and Moghari are working on a new MRI-based technology that can produce moving 3D images of the heart. It allows cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to see a patient’s heart from any angle and observe its movement throughout the entire cardiac cycle.
“It’s much easier to appreciate complex anatomy when you can see it in 3D cine instead of integrating lots of 2D slices in your mind,” says Powell.
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