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Imaging - Cardiovascular MRI Core


Non-invasive cardiovascular imaging includes echocardiography, nuclear cardiac imaging (myocardial perfusion and positron emission tomography), computed tomography and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). In the assessment of cardiac volumes, function and mass, CMR is widely accepted as the gold standard. Moreover, it is unique in its ability to characterize the myocardium using conventional and novel imaging sequences. CMR does not involve radiation and the use of gadolinium contrast for tissue characterization is very safe. These are strengths that have expanded the clinical and research applications of CMR.

The Imaging Core at NHRIS has a specialized and dedicated team of CMR physicist, post-doctorate radiographer, engineers, research fellows and clinician scientists. NHRIS houses two CMR (3T Philips Ingenia and 1.5T Siemens Aera) to meet the increasing research and clinical demands.


The Imaging Core laboratory is well-suited in the analysis of the cardiovascular system:

  1. Cardiac ventricular volumes, function, wall thickness, myocardial perfusion and tissue characterization (late gadolinium enhancement and T1/T2/T2* mapping techniques)
  2. Assessment of arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity)
  3. Complex 3D atlas modeling
  4. Myocardial strain assessment using feature tracking


Image analysis in the Corelab is performed by experienced and trained analysts according to standardized protocols. Analysis methodologies are validated and tested for variability. The Corelab uses a standardized commercially available image analysis package (CMR42, Circle Cardiovascular Imaging).

Research Area

The current studies supported by the Imaging Core:

  1. NHRIS Biobank Project (healthy volunteers and inherited cardiomyopathies)

    Healthy volunteers are carefully phenotyped using state-of-the-art CMR; and blood samples (serum and DNA) are stored and analyzed for normal genetic variants in the local/Asian population. Individuals with inherited cardiomyopathies (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy) are scanned using a standardized protocol as part of a larger multi-center collaboration with prominent international CMR centers.
  2. REMODEL Hypertension study

    The REMODEL (Response of the myocardium to hypertrophic conditions in the adult population) is a prospective observational study that aims to investigate the determinants of myocardial fibrosis in patients with hypertensive heart disease.
  3. Exercise CMR study

    We have recently developed and optimized an exercise CMR protocol using an in-scanner supine ergometer. Using this protocol, we could assess exercise capacities, wall motion abnormalities and perfusion defects.



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