What is the role of MRI in the diagnosis of cor pulmonale?

Updated: Dec 15, 2017
  • Author: Derek Leong, MD; Chief Editor: Henry H Ooi, MD, MRCPI  more...
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Answer

Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging has been used as a method of providing high-quality images and diagnostic capabilities that are currently being explored. Electrocardiographic (ECG)-gated techniques and respiratory motion suppression have enabled protocols that can provide valuable information about right ventricular (RV) mass, septal flattening, and ventricular function. By incorporating gadolinium, myocardial scar and fibrosis can also be evaluated via CMR. Such a technique can be useful in determining the size and location of an infarction. Spin echo, which causes blood to appear black, can be used for anatomic imaging and identifying abnormal myocardium, and cine imaging, in which blood appears bright and the myocardium appears dark, can help in the assessment of wall motion abnormalities, valve function, and patterns of blood flow. As a result, CMR is being explored to better characterize and quantify pulmonary hypertension. [18, 19]


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