James Carr, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology, Northwestern University, and incoming 2020 President of the Society of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (SCMR), explains why MRI is an ideal cardiac imaging modality, at the 2019 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting.
Heart MRI offers advantages over computed tomography (CT) and echocardiography because of its excellent soft tissue delineation and its ability to offer information beyond anatomical imaging, such as perfusion, morphology and metabolism. MRI can be technically challenging and the exams requiring a long time, but recent advances have helped cur cardiac imaging times down significantly. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) also is making post-processing and quantification mush faster, brining it closer to the time it takes to scan and post-process CT imaging.
Northwestern is was one of the early adopters of cardiovascular MRI. Carr said heart MRI was not common in regular clinical use until the past decade at some luminary centers. In 2005, Carr was given the opportunity to develop a clinical cardiac MRI program at Northwestern.
He said MRI scanners have improved, and now much faster than a decade ago. They are also more optimized for cardiac imaging. While heart MRI is well known in large hospital centers, Carr said it still needs to develop and expand to community hospitals and rural hospitals outside major population centers.
Artificial intelligence is playing a significant role in cardiac MRI automation of speeding workflow and quantification. Carr said these technologies will become mainstream in the next few years. AI also will play an increasing role in risk prediction based on new image analysis algorithms in development.
For more information on cardiac MRI, visit SCMR's website www.heartmri.org.