Clinical Trials

Imaging

Title: Using 4-D Visualization Software with Magnetic Resonance Images in the Congenital
Principal Investigator: W. James Parks, M.D.

In this study, we wish to use images obtained during standard of care cardiac MRI procedures performed at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. We transfer the images to a computer with first of its kind analysis software in order to interrelate and study them. We hope to better our understanding and management of complex congenital heart disease as well as poorly functional heart muscle. No contrast, additional scanner time or imaging sequences are required.


Title: Improved Ciné MRI by Direct-Inversion Reconstruction
Principal Investigator: Marijn Brummer, Ph.D.

Acquisition speed remains a critical issue in ciné magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Structural and functional cardiac imaging, and increasingly also coronary artery and flow imaging, are becoming ever-more important tools in evaluation of a wide range of cardiovascular diseases. All of these scans often involve anatomy that is subject to both cardiac and respiratory motion. Multi-phase ECG-gated imaging is nowadays routinely performed in breath-hold mode, but both the duration and number of breath-hold acquisitions that can be tolerated by the patient are dominant limiting factors for image quality and resolution. These limitations are aggravated by the particular symptoms of many cardiac diseases.

Faster MRI data acquisition is being pursued in multiple ways: improved gradient hardware allows faster spatial encoding; phased-array radiofrequency coils offer increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR); new steady-state free precession acquisition techniques contribute improvements on both these fronts; other innovations, like partial-Fourier imaging, parallel imaging, or reduced field of view (rFOV) methods explore further improvements in imaging speed, often by trading some SNR, by exploiting various types of prior knowledge in the imaging model. rFOV methods pursue reduction of data requirements for dynamic imaging acquisition by eliminating redundancy in the data, associated with the observation that only part of the image actually changes over time. Combined use of technologies that improve SNR or speed keeps pushing the limits of clinically feasible applications of ciné imaging.However, not all techniques are always compatible, and the gains from all individual techniques are bounded, so the development of additional technologies in this realm is still desired and highly relevant.

This project will investigate development and evaluation of a novel rFOV technique “NoQuist” that promises to offer important advantages over comparable methods in terms of spatial and temporal resolution.