Cardiac Function

  • J. Bogaert
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Visualization and quantification of the cardiac pump activity by means of imaging techniques has become an essential part in the diagnosis of many cardiac diseases. This pump activity comprises a repetitive filling and emptying phase whereby one phase or both phases may be impaired by the underlying cardiac disease. Among the different available imaging modalities, MRI has become a preferred one to assess cardiac function because of its noninvasiveness, and the accuracy and reproducibility of the measurements. Moreover, cardiac function assessment by MRI is part of a more comprehensive approach including other facets such as myocardial perfusion imaging and tissue characterization. This chapter is written from the point of view of the imager, starting with a description of the mechanisms of cardiac contraction and relaxation, and how these lead to myocardial deformation and ventricular volume changes throughout the cardiac cycle. Next, it is discussed how imaging techniques can be used to assess these processes at different levels, and what major hurdles need to be passed to achieve reliable estimates of cardiac function parameters. Finally, normal reference values obtained by current MRI sequences are provided at the end of the chapter.


Right Ventricular Ventricular Volume Wall Stress Leave Ventricular Wall Constrictive Pericarditis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC), University Hospitals GasthuisbergCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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