Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Robert C. Gorman



Francisco Jose Contijoch

Robert C Gorman, MD

Expansion of infarcted tissue during left ventricular (LV) remodeling after a myocardial infarction is associated with poor long-term prognosis. Several interventions have been developed to limit infarct expansion by modifying the material properties of the infarcted or surrounding borderzone tissue.

Measures of myocardial function and material properties can be obtained non-invasively via imaging. However, these measures are sensitive to variations in loading conditions and acquisition of load-independent measures have been limited by surgically invasive procedures and limited spatial resolution.

In this dissertation, a real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique was validated in clinical patients and instrumented animals, several technical improvements in MRI acquisition and reconstruction were presented for improved imaging resolution, load-independent measures were obtained in animal studies via non-invasive imaging, and regional variations in function were measured in both na�ve and post-infarction animals.

Specifically, a golden-angle radial MRI acquisition with non-Cartesian SENSE-based reconstruction with an exposure time less than 95 ms and a frame rate above 89 fps allows for accurate estimation of LV slice volume in clinical patients and instrumented animals. Two technical developments were pursued to improve image quality and spatial resolution. First, the slice volume obtained can be used as a self-navigator signal to generate retrospectively-gated, high-resolution datasets of multiple beat morphologies. Second, cross-correlation of the ECG with previously observed values resulted in accurate interpretation of cardiac phase in patients with arrhythmias and allowed for multi-shot imaging of dynamic scenarios.

Synchronizing the measured LV slice volume with an LV pressure signal allowed for pressure-volume loops and corresponding load-independent measures of function to be obtained in instrumented animals. Acquiring LV slice volume at multiple slice locations revealed regional differences in contractile function. Motion-tracking of the myocardium during real-time imaging allowed for differences in contractile function between normal, borderzone, and infarcted myocardium to be measured.

Lastly, application of real-time imaging to patients with arrhythmias revealed the variable impact of ectopic beats on global hemodynamic function, depending on frequency and ectopic pattern.

This work established the feasibility of obtaining load-independent measures of function via real-time MRI and illustrated regional variations in cardiac function.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Biomedical Commons