New MRI Application Provides Quantitative Information about Cardiac Tissue

myomapsMyoMaps is the world’s first MRI application able to provide quantative information regarding the composition of heart muscle tissue and represent changes in such tissues in color in the final image. This can help address so-called diffuse myocardial pathologies, in which the tissue changes are small but distributed over the whole heart. One example is the accumulation of iron deposits in the heart, which can lead to cardiac insufficiency. Siemens recently presented this solution at last year’s ESC Congress in Barcelona.

Diffuse Myocardial Pathologies Detected with MyoMaps

MRI examinations are among the best tools available for the diagnosis and treatment of many heart conditions1. In simplified terms, an MRI scanner aligns the hydrogen nuclei in a patient’s body with the help of powerful magnetic fields, excites these nuclei with radio waves, and then measures the way they resonate. Specifically, the MRI system detects the signals emitted by the nuclei as they resonate. In doing so it can record how many hydrogen nuclei are present at various locations in the body. The decay pattern of the resonance can also be used to make inferences about the properties of the tissue being studied. In the past, typical changes in heart tissue, such as deposits of fat or iron, scarred tissue or edema, were mostly discernible in MRI images after they had already become so extensive as to be pathological.

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