Heart disease, a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western World, generally leads to abnormalities of heart wall motion. The goals of this project are 1) to develop improved methods for measuring regional heart wall motion using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and 2) to apply them to a sample of normal subjects in order to define the normal patterns of cardiac motion. This will be useful both for improving our understanding of normal cardiac motion and for providing a set of baseline normal values against which patients with heart disease can be compared. In addition, improved methods for cardiac imaging with MRI that will be developed for this project will have broader applicability to general cardiac MRI. A major focus of this project is on development of technical aspects of the wall motion studies. Methods will be developed for the acquisition of tagged MR cardiac images with improved spatial and temporal resolution, including investigations of tagged imaging during suspended respiration with rapid gradient echo and echo planar imaging and development of surface coils specifically adapted for receiving signals from the heart. Analysis methods will be developed for estimating the 3-dimensional motion and deformation from both stacked biplane series and phase velocity encoding. Validation methods for verification of measurement results will be further developed. Image registration methods will be developed for studies of reproducibility and comparison of different subjects. The improved imaging and analysis methods developed in this project will be applied to a broad sample of normal subjects, stratified for gender, age and race. This will be analyzed for within and between subject patterns of variation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Diagnostic Radiology Study Section (RNM)
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University of Pennsylvania
Schools of Medicine
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Axel, Leon; Montillo, Albert; Kim, Daniel (2005) Tagged magnetic resonance imaging of the heart: a survey. Med Image Anal 9:376-93
Moses, Daniel A; Axel, Leon (2004) Quantification of the curvature and shape of the interventricular septum. Magn Reson Med 52:154-63
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Bloomgarden, D C; Fayad, Z A; Ferrari, V A et al. (1997) Global cardiac function using fast breath-hold MRI: validation of new acquisition and analysis techniques. Magn Reson Med 37:683-92

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