Mapping the future of cardiac MR imaging: case-based review of T1 and T2 mapping techniques.
Cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has grown over the past several decades into a validated, noninvasive diagnostic imaging tool with a pivotal role in cardiac morphologic and functional assessment and tissue characterization. With traditional cardiac MR imaging sequences, assessment of various pathologic conditions ranging from ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy to cardiac involvement in systemic diseases (eg, amyloidosis and sarcoidosis) is possible; however, these sequences are most useful in focal myocardial disease, and image interpretation relies on subjective qualitative analysis of signal intensity. Newer T1 and T2 myocardial mapping techniques offer a quantitative assessment of the myocardium (by using T1 and T2 relaxation times), which can be helpful in focal disease, and demonstrate special utility in the evaluation of diffuse myocardial disease (eg, edema and fibrosis). Altered T1 and T2 relaxation times in disease states can be compared with published ranges of normal relaxation times in healthy patients. In conjunction with traditional cardiac MR imaging sequences, T1 and T2 mapping can limit the interpatient and interstudy variability that are common with qualitative analysis and may provide clinical markers for long-term follow-up.
Hamlin, SA; Henry, TS; Little, BP; Lerakis, S; Stillman, AE
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