, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 183-192,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 15 Jun 2010

Assessment of left ventricular diastolic function by MR: why, how and when

Abstract

Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), a valuable non-invasive technique for the evaluation of the cardiovascular system, has already been accepted as the "gold standard" for the assessment of systolic function. The assessment of diastolic function is important not only for diagnosis purposes, but also in terms of prognosis. ECG-triggering phase-contrast (PC) CMR allows the routine assessment of diastolic function by measuring the transmitral and pulmonary venous flow with high accuracy and reproducibility, using morphological and quantitative parameters similar to those obtained by transthoracic echocardiography, which are so familiar to general cardiologists. Therefore, the increasing role of CMR in the assessment of the cardiovascular system requires a greater awareness and knowledge of this condition by radiologists. The aim of this study is to review the main mechanisms and common causes of left ventricle diastolic dysfunction, provide a practical approach for the assessment of LV diastolic function and illustrate the different degrees of diastolic dysfunction.