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Extending Cardiac Functional Assessment with Respiratory-Resolved 3D Cine MRI.


This study aimed to develop a cardiorespiratory-resolved 3D magnetic resonance imaging (5D MRI: x-y-z-cardiac-respiratory) approach based on 3D motion tracking for investigating the influence of respiration on cardiac ventricular function. A highly-accelerated 2.5-minute sparse MR protocol was developed for a continuous acquisition of cardiac images through multiple cardiac and respiratory cycles. The heart displacement along respiration was extracted using a 3D image deformation algorithm, and this information was used to cluster the acquired data into multiple respiratory phases. The proposed approach was tested in 15 healthy volunteers (7 females). Cardiac function parameters, including the end-systolic volume (ESV), end-diastolic volume (EDV), stroke volume (SV), and ejection fraction (EF), were measured for the left and right ventricle in both end-expiration and end-inspiration. Although with the proposed 5D cardiac MRI, there were no significant differences (p > 0.05, t-test) between end-expiration and end-inspiration measurements of the cardiac function in volunteers, incremental respiratory motion parameters that were derived from 3D motion tracking, such as the depth, expiration and inspiration distribution, correlated (p < 0.05, correlation coefficient, Mann-Whitney) with those volume-based parameters of cardiac function and varied between genders. The obtained initial results suggested that this new approach allows evaluation of cardiac function during specific respiratory phases. Thus, it can enable investigation of effects related to respiratory variability and better assessment of cardiac function for studying respiratory and/or cardiac dysfunction.

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