Cardiac Imaging Insider

Dear Cardiac Imaging Insider,

With CT grabbing the lion's share of headlines in heart imaging, one can be forgiven for forgetting that cardiac MRI has many unique capabilities that CT can't replicate.

A principal strength of cardiac MR lies in myocardial imaging, where it can assess everything from the subtlest myocardial edema to the transmurality of myocardial infarcts -- with important prognostic and management implications for the patient, according to cardiologist Dr. Jeanette Shulz-Menger.

Speaking at the recent Scientific Symposium on Ultrahigh Field Magnetic Resonance in Berlin, Shulz-Menger, a researcher at Berlin's Charité University Experimental Research Center and Berlin Ultrahigh-Field Facility (BUFF), talked about the unique information cardiac MR provides in daily clinical life -- as well as the frustrating lack of advanced software tools for extracting that information quickly. Get the rest of the story by clicking here.

Can ultrahigh-field MRI overcome cardiac MR's limitations? Probably, but much more development is needed there, too, said columnist Dr. Thoralf Niendorf, who organized the Berlin symposium. In a story you'll find here, Niendorf said that although substantial obstacles remain on the road to routine high-field cardiac MR, the pace of development is encouraging -- and that new coil technologies are helping erase long-standing limitations to high-field cardiac MR, such as signal inhomogeneity.

On the CT side, cardiac CT is a strong predictor of cardiac events in symptomatic patients, according to researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. Another group found that the modality's prognostic benefits aren't limited to low- and intermediate-risk patients.

Finally, dynamic perfusion CT is carving a role for itself in the assessment of coronary artery disease, according to a story by editor Rebekah Moan, who covered a study presented by another group from Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians University at the 2011 International Symposium on Computed Tomography (ISCT) in San Francisco.

Please scroll through the links below for all the news in cardiac imaging, or visit the Cardiac Imaging Community.

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