For pediatric cardiac patients, MRI is an attractive imaging modality without radiation exposure.
The cooperation with the Dept. of Radiology, Medical Physics, under the leadership of Professor J. Hennig, has been one of the most innovative German MRI basic and programming group in Germany for more than 20 years. The MRI physicists tailor new techniques in the field of in-vivo Magnetic Resonance sequences and analysis to the specific needs of researchers in Germany.
The close collaboration and direct interaction enabled us to develop four-dimensional flow MRI (4D-Flow MRI) to further develop new flow patterns (such as wall shear stress and oscillatory shear stress ) in large vessels, e.g. in conditions following isthmus stenosis, hypoplastic aortic arches, pathological pulmonary arteries. It is now possible to measure anatomy, flow volume and pressure over time.
These methodological improvements and development of new MRI techniques can contribute to reduced morbidity and mortality in pediatric cardiology patients.
Moreover, high-resolution MRI data can be compared to direct examination of extracted tissue. This enables us to detect, quantify and qualify fibrosis and electromechanical coupling. This work is being pursued in cooperation with Professor Peter Kohl, Institute for Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine
Current MRI projects include:
- Long-term 4-D studies of aortic isthmus stenosis
- MRI tissue examinations Fallot’s tetralogy
- MRI after heart transplantation: can routine biopsies be avoided?
- Preventing rejection study (currently in planning)