The Heart in Four Dimensions

The Heart in Four Dimensions


– Catheterization is a gold standard for evaluating pressure hemodynamics and to a good degree, also flow, but it’s a very two-dimensional view of what’s going on inside the heart. Whereas with MRI, we can also look at how the flow actually moves from one side of the heart to
another, and to the vessels. – 4-D MRI has the ability to evaluate flow in all three dimensions
of space over time. We are trying to replicate the
acute vasoreactivity testing that is done in the cath lab, and do it completely
non-invasively in the MRI lab. – Exercise physiology is a great way of unmasking hidden or
early disease processes. Our biomedical engineers have
developed an exercise bike which is MRI compatible. Patients can actually undergo exercise and we can simultaneously image
them and look at their flow and look at their cardiac function. – We at Children’s in Colorado are one of the few
children’s hospitals that has access to
this technology. But it’s not just about the sequence and the ability to acquire the image, but actually to post-process
and quantify the information and actually do something with it, and that’s where we are
unique in this field. – This technology originally
was brought in here with a need to investigate
new disease markers in children with pulmonary hypertension. – We are seeing very
abnormal patterns of flow and derivatives of flow in kids with pulmonary
hypertension compared to controls. Ultimately, what we’re interested in is how well it correlates
with the cath data. – The huge golden goal would be to replace all invasive
diagnostic procedures.

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