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Feasibility of quantitative diffusion imaging of the heart in post-mortem MR

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2013
Author Crooijmans Hendrikus J A, Ruder Thomas D., Zech Wolf Dieter, Somaini Sandra, Scheffler Klaus, Thali Michael Josef, Bieri Oliver,
Project Development of fast quantitative diffusion and transverse relaxation time magnetic resonance steady state imaging concepts for living tissues
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging
Volume (Issue) 1(3)
Page(s) 124 - 128
Title of proceedings Journal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging
DOI 10.1016/j.jofri.2013.05.009


Objective: The aim of this work was to investigate the feasibility of quantitative diffusion imaging of the heart in a post-mortem setting and compare these results to standard T2-weighted imaging as well as to traditional autopsy and histological analysis. Materials and methods: Two human cadavers underwent post-mortem magnetic resonance (PMMR) imaging of the heart, autopsy and histological analysis of the myocardium. Diffusion weighted double-echo steady-state data with direction sensitivity in three orthogonal directions have been acquired from which the mean-diffusivity has been estimated. In addition, T2-weighted data have been acquired. PMMR images were compared to autopsy and histology. Results: Direction dependent diffusivity-maps revealed a strong dependency on the orientation of the myocardial fibers; the resulting mean-diffusivity-maps are independent of the fiber direction. Findings in the mean-diffusivity-maps revealed good correspondence to findings in T2-weighted images as well as to the autopsy and histology findings. Long axis reconstructions of the mean-diffusivity-maps gave further insight into the extent of an acute infarction of one case. Conclusions: This study shows that quantitative diffusion imaging of the heart is applicable in a post-mortem setting to identify scar-tissue as well as acute infarction in the myocardium. Three-dimensional isotropic diffusivity-mapping additionally allows for the reconstruction of slices in any orientation for optimal visualization of the results. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.