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EPSRC Reference: GR/T11395/01
Title: Acquisition and analysis of dynamic 3D cardiac volumes with MRI
Principal Investigator: Hill, Professor DL
Other Investigators:
Marber, Professor MS Hawkes, Professor D Razavi, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Imperial College London
Department: Medical Physics and Biomedical Eng
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 January 2005 Ends: 30 June 2008 Value (£): 391,806
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Development (Biosciences) Image & Vision Computing
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that has undergone rapid technical development in the last 10 years. It has been shown that imaging the heart with MRI (cardiac MRI) has great potential as a research tool and for the diagnosis and management of patients. The advantages of cardiac MR are the excellent delineation of the heart anatomy, the ability to acquire dynamic information to assess heart function, and the absence of ionising radiation. The greater accuracy of cardiac MR has been shown to mean that many fewer patients need to be studied to achieve the same statistical power compared to ultrasound.Cardiac MRI, however, is hardly used outside a small number of highly specialist centres. It probably accounts for less than 1% of all MR imaging investigations worldwide, and a similarly small fraction of all cardiac imaging investigations. Until recently, one reason for this was the need for specialised cardiac MR hardware, but modern 1.5T scanners can do good cardiac imaging with just a software upgrade. There are two remaining reasons for the low take-up of cardiac MR: (1) planning cardiac MR studies requires a highly skilled operator to identify the correct 2D slice planes through the heart, very often requiring a cardiac radiologist or cardiologist with specialised MR training present during scanning; (2) image analysis requires a large amount of interaction by a highly experienced and well motivated member of staff. This project seeks to solve both these difficulities through a combined acquisition and analysis approach. We will bring together recent innovations in MR technology that make it possible to speed up the MR acquisition such that truly three dimensional images of the heart beating can be acquired in one or two breath-holds without the need to carefully plan the scan planes. This 3D dynamic data will be much easier to analyze than current multi-slice cardiac MR images. This will enable us to apply image alignment techniques to measure how the heart beats, the way the heart re-models following heart attack or changes after treatment, and the differences in anatomy between groups of normal subjects and patients.The acquisition and analysis techniques we devise will make cardiac MR examinations faster and less dependent on highly skilled operators. Cardiac MR studies will become as simple as brain MR studies, making the widspread clinical use of cardiac MR much more straightforward. Furthermore, our techniques will, for the first time, enable detailed analysis of serial imaging and cohort comparisons that has been applied very successfully to 3D MR brain scans over the last 10 years, to be applied to images of the heart. For example, we will be able to use serial cardiac MR studies to provide accurate assessment, at all points in the heart, of the way that the heart changes following heart attack or treatment. This will advance the state of the art in image analysis by properly handling the true 4D (3D + time) nature of the cardiac data. We will collect data from volunteers and patients to demonstrate this capability.
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