New research published in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology continues to advance the understanding of how whole-heart coronary MRI can be used to detect heart disease.

One drawback of heart MRIs is that clear images can be difficult to obtain. The heart's constant beating coupled with a patient's constant breathing can blur images, rendering them unusable. Typically, images are collected during diastole. Researchers at Mie University Hospital and Matsusaka Central Hospital in Japan investigated whether image data should be collected at other times.

Researchers used whole-heart MRIs on 131 patients suspected of having coronary artery stenosis. In 48 patients, especially those with faster heart rates, the optimal time to collect data occurred while the heart was contracting rather than resting. Overall, useable images were collected in 113 patients, or 86 percent of the study participants. The study found that, for coronary arteries of at least 2 mm in diameter, whole-heart coronary MRIs resulted in an accurate diagnosis in 87 percent of patients.

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