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How to get good images

Technologists session

Non-Invasive Imaging

The technologists’ session on How to get good images lived up the session title very well with personal experiences shared and practical help and advice given by all the speakers. Despite the fact that one speaker did not attend, this did not detract from the flow of the session and allowed the other speakers chance to expand on their talks a little and share their tips and tricks.
The session opened by defining the unique role of the CMR technologist in acquiring good quality images from preparation of the patient and knowing what the patient needs to know about the examination to what the technologist needs to know about the patient.
The main key points were
•    Ensure the patient is comfortable and knows what to expect.
•    Obtain a reliable ECG signal and optimise  according to the sequence used
•    Optimise the order of the imaging sequences to maximise efficiency
•    Know your system
The last point led nicely into the second talk about how to optimise edema imaging. The problems associated with T2 imaging were elegantly explained with some excellent examples of the types of artefacts that may occur along with practical solutions of how to correct them and avoid them in the future. These included using surface coils and image filters, the use of parallel imaging techniques and explaining why increasing the number of signal averages from 1 to 2 to increase SNR then using an acceleration factor of 2 to decrease the breathold time again is not ideal- something that seems common practise at times!
The last talk on how to avoid artefacts was an excellent demonstration of how things can go wrong and what we as technologists can do to both recognise and rectify them. An interactive section to guess the artefact at the end of the talk was fun. Artefacts from poor breatholding, gating, poor choice of inversion time and some system errors were all shown
 Lively discussion at the end showed the session was well received and everyone had a take home message about how they can improve their CMR images by understanding the problems that may arise, appreciate that some sequences such as T2 are sometimes tricky to get right and how to avoid artefacts in your exam by correct ECG triggering, optimising and saving your protocol on your system to avoid making the same mistake again, good communication between the technologist and the patient, closing the loop between the first and last talks.


How to get good images
The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.