MR Imaging of Congenital Heart Disease at 0.3 T

Abstract: The aim of this study was to systematically evaluate the potential of static MR Imaging in congenital heart disease. As low field equlpment was first avaliable, and contlnues to be used, the experienee with this type of imager is reported. Accurate parameter setting is of the greatest importance for efficient cardiac scanning. In small experimental animals, ECG gating and number of excitations were the most important parameters for image quality. Surface coil performance is crucial, especially at low field strength. A new half-elliptical coil concept is presented and compared in vitro with standard surface coils. For the upper thorax the experimental coil compared weil with standard coils. The diagnosis of vaseular rings, causing significant respiratory morbidity, prevlously required invasive methods for diagnosis. In aberrent left pulmonary artery, an uncommon anomaly, MR imaging at 0.3 T provlded complete anatomic information. Complex congenital heart malformation is a diagnostic challenge. MR imaging at 0.3 T was efficient in defining most of the components of complex disease. It is especially valuable for imaging of extracardiac structures, which can be difficult to evaluate using echocardiography. Many surgical procedures used in congenital heart disease affect the pulmonary vaseular supply. Non-invasive methods are especially important in repeated postoperative monitoring. MR imaglng at 0.3 T was efficient in evaluating the non valvular parts of centrallung vessels. MR imaging is an important complement to echocardiography. Improved equlpment with sophistlcated dynamic applicatlons using high magnetic field strength is now available. The anatomical evaluatlon of congenital heart anomalies is however still based on static images, and low field magnets will certainly be used even in the future. It is important to be able to demonstrate cardiovascular anomalies also with this type of equipment

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