Dr. Muthupillai explains that the center's goal is to bring to fruition the full potential of MRI, both for cardiac MR and for all other applications. "We want to narrow the gap between what is possible and what is being routinely done as much as we possibly can," he says.
Opened in January 2021, Live Healthy Imaging (Bellaire, Texas, USA) schedules clinical studies three days per week and reserves two days for research. Cardiac studies make up approximately 60% of cases. A full cardiac workup – including cine imaging, viability, T1 and T2 mapping – takes about 35 minutes. If perfusion is added, this adds 6 minutes to the protocol duration.
"This is faster than in the past, when these studies typically took us 55 minutes," Dr. Cheong points out. "The Ambition and accelerated scanning using Compressed SENSE reduces scan time and significantly improves our imaging. This gives us the flexibility to tailor our scanning to the needs of the patient by either making the exams shorter, or improving the SNR or the spatial resolution."
Dr. Cheong adds that workflow efficiency also contributes to a shorter time slots. "We can setup the room easily, and patients follow the instructions from the AutoVoice – this makes a tremendous difference with these multiple breath holds needed in cardiac MR.”
"We do a targeted acquisition of the heart with a small field-of-view of about 300 mm. By keeping our field-of-view fairly constant across patients, we improve workflow. The other important advantage is that this immediately gives the physician a good impression of the relative volume of space occupied by the heart within the field-of-view."