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Current and new clinical applications for CMR: Myocardial tissue characterisation

EuroCMR Congress News

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance


gerber-2019.jpgProfessor Bernhard Gerber, EACVI Vice President-Elect for CMR, provides his insight into a Special Session that describes some clinically interesting and topical applications of CMR.

Prof. Gerber explained, “CMR myocardial tissue mapping techniques are becoming more widely used in clinical practice. Presently, CMR is already the optimal method to diagnose a variety of different cardiac conditions, such as cardiomyopathies, tumours and infiltrative diseases. Using tissue characterisation sequences, we can measure T1, T2 and T2* time to gain a ‘virtual biopsy’ of the heart and discover more about its composition. In the Special Session on Friday, we will hear about how CMR tissue characterisation is currently applied and also provide an outlook on potential developments for the future.”

He continued, “In cardio-oncology, CMR already allows us to gain comprehensive insights into the mechanisms of cardiac dysfunction after chemotherapy. In the future, hopefully CMR might permit earlier diagnosis of cardiotoxicity, allowing chemotherapy regimens to be better adapted to prevent cardiac dysfunction. We might also use CMR tissue characterisation techniques to get earlier and better diagnosis of amyloid disease, allowing more timely treatment with new drugs that have recently become available. It could also be interesting to apply these approaches to diagnose athletes’ hearts with cardiomyopathies, to direct athletes whether they can proceed with their training schedule without harm to their heart. Another important use could be in the differential diagnosis of tumours. If we have quantitative measurements of T1 times and T2 times in tumours and have perfusion characteristics, we may be able to make a histological diagnosis with a much higher degree of certainty by MRI.”

Looking further ahead, Prof. Gerber said, “I think the use of these techniques will evolve such that we will have registries of CMR data from different pathologies, including measured quantitative T1 times and T2 times, late gadolinium enhancement and perfusion characteristics. At some point, I think we will be able to use artificial intelligence to analyse these parameters—smart technology will be used to develop algorithms that will allow us to make automatic diagnoes. We will be able to detect differences that are much more subtle than can be seen with the human eye and we may be able to detect preclinical disease more readily. This is one of the exciting ways I see CMR going in the future.”

Don’t miss!

CMR imaging in practice. A look at some clinical interesting and topical applications of CMR

Friday: 09:35 –10:50; Sala Zorzi