Sonia Nielles-Vallespin1, 2, Pedro Ferreira3, Peter David Gatehouse1, Jennifer Keegan1, Ranil de Silva3, Tevfik Ismail1, Andrew Scott1, Timothy G. Reese4, Choukri Meekaoui4, Peter Speier5, Thorsten Feiweier6, David E. Sosnovik4, Andrew E. Arai2, David N. Firmin1
1Royal Brompton Hospital, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom; 2National Heart Lung and Blood Institue (NHLBI), National Institues of Health (NIH), DHHS, Bethesda, MD, United States; 3Royal Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom; 4Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States; 5Siemens AG Healthcare Sector, Erlangen, Germany; 6Siemens AG, Erlangen, Germany
Zonal-excitation and partial-Fourier were combined to speed up a diffusion-weighted stimulated-echo single-shot-EPI technique to acquire in-vivo cardiac Diffusion Tensor Imaging (cDTI) at any time point over the entire cardiac cycle. 5 healthy volunteers were scanned. Mean-diffusivity, fractional-anisotropy, helix-angle and superquadric glyph maps were produced. We show here for the first time in-vivo cDTI images of the human heart over the entire cardiac cycle. The rotation of the diffusion tensor as the heart contracts and expands can be observed. This technique promises to provide novel insights into the structure-function relationships in the heart, and its changes in the presence of disease.