Comparison between tagged MRI and standard cine MRI for evaluation of left ventricular ejection fraction
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Global left ventricular function is a prognostic indicator and is used to evaluate therapeutical interventions in patients with heart failure. Regional left ventricular function can be determined with tagged MRI. Assessment of global left ventricular function using the tagging data may have additional clinical value without incurring extra scanning time, which is currently a limiting factor in cardiac imaging. Direct determination of end-diastolic volume is not possible with conventional tagged MRI. However, end-systolic volume can be directly measured because myocardium–blood contrast improves through a tagged image series. We investigated the potential of tagged MRI using frequency-domain analysis software to retrospectively track end-diastolic contour from end-systolic contour and subsequently calculate the ejection fraction. Tagged MRI was compared with the standard bright-blood cine MRI in healthy volunteers (n=20) and patients with previous myocardial infarction (n=8). Left ventricular ejection fraction derived from tagged MRI is linearly correlated to left ventricular ejection fraction obtained by standard cardiac cine MRI (y=1.0x+1.31, r>0.98, p=0.014). In addition, the inter-observer and intra-observer coefficient of variation for left ventricular ejection fraction measurements was low (CVintra=0.4%, CVinter=1.3%). With tagged MRI, only end-systolic volume needs to be manually determined, and accurate estimation of left ventricular ejection fraction is obtained because end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes are determined using identical anatomical points. Our data indicate that tagged MRI can be used to quantitatively assess both regional and global left ventricular function. Therefore, tagged MRI may be a valuable clinical tool for determining the prognosis and evaluating the effect of therapeutical intervention using a single imaging session in patients with left ventricular dysfunction.
KeywordsCardiac imaging Tagged MRI Ejection fraction Cine MRI Left ventricle
We thank Rosalind Perrin for reviewing the paper and Dominique Joliat (Philips Medical Systems) for technical support. This study was partially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant SNF 31-57020.99) and the Geneva University Hospital (HUG).
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