Objective: Velocity-encoded phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides a tool to quantify regional myocardial wall motion of the entire heart. It allows the acquisition of three-directional velocity vector fields with high spatial resolution that reflect the temporal evolution of myocardial velocities over the cardiac cycle. In contrast to other imaging modalities such as echocardiography left ventricular performance can be assessed without limited anatomical or functional coverage. Methods: Compared to other techniques that quantify local myocardial contractility (e.g. implanted ultrasonic crystals) by means of regional displacement, phase contrast MRI provides information about local and global left ventricular velocities (i.e. motion) by utilizing the intrinsic motion sensitivity of MRI. The resultant motion components of contraction, expansion, rotation, lengthening, and shortening of the left ventricle are described in high spatial and temporal detail. Phase contrast measurements were performed in 12 healthy volunteers with a respiratory-gated technique in order to achieve a high temporal resolution of 13.8 ms to demonstrate the detailed assessment of global and regional myocardial motion. Results: Data revealed details in left ventricular motion patterns that were previously not seen in phase contrast measurements and are only known from echocardiography. For all volunteers, characteristic myocardial motion patterns and locally different radial (i.e. contraction and expansion), rotational (i.e. twisting and untwisting) and longitudinal (i.e. lengthening and shortening) motion components could be detected with high accuracy. Conclusions: The phase contrast MRI technique for high temporal resolution velocity mapping is therefore very promising for the investigation and better understanding of the myocardial motion in normal subjects and patients with disturbed left ventricular performance and may validate further testing of different models of cardiac structure.
- Helical ventricular myocardial band
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Sequential cardiac motion
- Tissue phase mapping
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine