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Fetal MRI

Cardiac Anatomy

Figure of human fetal heart
Multi-slice axial CINE images of a human fetal heart with transposition of the great arteries

In conventional cardiac MRI examinations, CINE imaging provides high quality movies of the beating heart. CINE imaging shows the structures of the cardiac anatomy and allow us to evaluate the connections and orientations of the major vessels and heart chambers. Additionally, functional measurements are derived by segmenting the heart and measuring ventricular volumes. 

Our research group has pioneered the development of human fetal anatomical CINE imaging. This was achieved through the development of metric optimized gating which allowed, for the first time, dynamic CINE images of the fetal heart by retrospectively synchronizing the MRI acquisition to the fetal cardiac cycle [1]. Our group has continued to make advances in CINE imaging by developing methods for shortening fetal CINE scan times and compensating for motion [2, 3]. Using these techniques we have begun to investigate the clinical utility of fetal MRI in the assessment of congenital heart disease [4, 5].

Figure of human fetal heart
Multi-slice short-axis CINE images of a human fetal heart with transposition of the great arteries

Matlab reconstruction code for metric optimized gating is available at: https://github.com/MetricOptimizedGating

[1] Roy CW, Macgowan CK. Dynamic MRI of a large fetal cardiac mass Images in Radiology. 182025 (2018) − doi:  10.1148/radiol.2018182025

[2] Roy CW, Marini D, Lloyd DFA, Mawad W, Yoo S-J, Schrauben EM, Jaeggi E, Seed M, Macgowan CK. Preliminary experience using motion compensated CINE magnetic resonance imaging to visualise fetal congenital heart disease Circ Cardiovasc Imaging 11:e007745 (2018) − doi:  10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.118.007745

[3] Roy CW, Seed M, Kingdom JC, Macgowan CK. Motion compensated cine CMR of the fetal heart using radial undersampling and compressed sensing  J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 19:29 (2017) − doi: 10.1186/s12968-017-0346-6

[4] Roy CW, Seed M, van Amerom JFP, Al Nasifi B, Grosse-Wortmann L, Yoo SJ, Macgowan CK. Dynamic imaging of the fetal heart using metric optimized gating Magn. Reson. Med. 70(6):1598-1607 (2013) – doi:10.1002/mrm.24614