Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and its electrocardiographs (ECG): tips and tricks

  • Marcelo Souto Nacif
  • Anna Zavodni
  • Nadine Kawel
  • Eui-Young Choi
  • João A. C. Lima
  • David A. BluemkeEmail author
Original Paper


All cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) techniques aim to create still depictions of a dynamic and ever-adapting organ. Most CMR methods rely on cardiac gating to capture information during fleeting periods of relative cardiac quiescence, at end diastole or end systole, or to acquire partial images throughout the cardiac cycle and average these signals over several heart beats. Since the inception of clinical CMR in the early 1980s, priority has been given to improving methods for image gating. The aim of this work is to provide a basic understanding of the ECG acquisition, demonstrate common ECG-related artifacts and to provide practical methods for overcoming these issues. Meticulous ECG preparation is essential for optimal CMR acquisition and these techniques must be adaptable to the individual patient.


Magnetic resonance imaging ECG Trigger 



Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural program.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. (Outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcelo Souto Nacif
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anna Zavodni
    • 1
  • Nadine Kawel
    • 1
  • Eui-Young Choi
    • 2
  • João A. C. Lima
    • 2
  • David A. Bluemke
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Radiology and Imaging SciencesNational Institutes of Health Clinical CenterBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Division of CardiologyJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Radiology DepartmentUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiteróiBrazil
  4. 4.National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and BioengineeringBethesdaUSA

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