Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) creates images from atomic nuclei with uneven spin using radio waves in the presence of a magnetic field. Full details of the physical principles can be found elsewhere [1]. For clinical purposes, MR is performed using hydrogen-1, which is abundant in water and fat. Radiofrequency waves excite the area of interest to create tissue magnetization, which decays (relaxation) and after a short period is induced to release energy as a radio signal. These echoes are converted using Fourier transformation into images of spatially resolved radio signals. Relaxation is quantified in spatially orthogonal directions as T1 and T2, which allows tissue characterization, thus creating a powerful clinical tool. A CMR scanner consists of a superconducting magnet, a radiofrequency transmitter and receiver connected to radio aerials, and gradient coils driven by powerful pulses of electricity to create transient magnetic fields. The imaging computer triggers to the electrocardiogram and runs scanning sequences that coordinate the complex processes.


Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Late Gadolinium Enhancement Invasive Coronary Angiography Cardiac Sarcoidosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dudley J. Pennell
    • 1
  1. 1.CMR UnitRoyal Brompton HospitalLondonUK

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