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Spanish CNIC and Philips to Develop Cardiac Imaging Protocol

Royal Philips is working on a research collaboration with the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) to develop a novel cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technology. The new method, called ‘Enhanced SENSE by Static Outer-volume Subtraction (ESSOS),’ takes advantage of the fact that during a breath-hold, everything in a patient’s chest remains static save the beating heart.

This MRI data is briefly segregated when an initial image of the static or outer volume is captured. The MRI signal from the beating heart may then be eliminated from the scan data, resulting in a three-dimensional (3D) image of the heart that is up to four times faster than traditional scans.

This can result in a net acceleration factor of 32. After reconstructing the dynamic information of the beating heart, the static exterior volume images are brought back in to create a 3D cardiac image of heart architecture and function. This ultra-fast approach, which takes less than a minute to scan, allows for examination from various angles while maintaining high-quality image resolution.

A second contrast-enhanced isotropic 3D single breath-hold scan could also be used to determine the extent of a patient’s cardiac muscle damage. According to Philips, the procedure time for a full assessment of cardiac structure and function is reduced from around one hour to a few minutes. Thus, the approach can improve patient access to correct diagnostics while also reducing scan times and expenses. In addition, it can be easily integrated into contemporary phased-array MRI scanners without any modifications.

“All the information needed to know the shape and function of the heart has been gathered in little over 20 seconds,” Philips scientist Dr. Javier Sánchez-González said. Philips and CNIC did a clinical investigation involving more than 100 patients with various heart diseases. The results revealed a high level of agreement between heart function measurements taken using the standard MR methodology and those born with the current MR protocol.

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