T1 Mapping Technology to detect fibrosis in the heart

Most cardiac ailments have in common that, as they evolve and progress, they tend to fibrosis or hardening of the heart. It is also known that the more fibrosis, the worse the prognosis. The main diagnostic method for the detection and quantification of fibrosis in cardiology is usually cardiac biopsy or taking a sample of cardiac tissue, but it is a highly invasive procedure and not free of serious complications.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the diagnosis of cardiac fibrosis

Cardiac MRI has been postulated as the imaging technique that can best diagnose the presence and quantify the degree of cardiac fibrosis in a non-invasive manner. After administration of a small dose of contrast, cardiac MRI is able to detect its accumulation in areas of fibrosis, necrosis (infarction) or infiltration by cardiac disease.

T1 Mapping technology to detect fibrosis in the heart

In recent years a new cardiac magnetic resonance imaging technique known as T1 mapping has been developed. With this novel technology, it is possible to detect even areas of cardiac fibrosis that have not yet produced obvious structural damage and, most importantly, it allows the degree of existing fibrosis to be quantified numerically. This is of high importance in future follow-up, in order to be able to follow the evolution of cardiac ailments.

On a practical level, such technology does not add more scanning time in a standard cardiac study. Simply, through a complex mathematical process, a color map of the heart is obtained where the areas of fibrosis are highlighted with respect to the healthy areas. With the result of a small blood sample (hematocrit) and through a fast analysis process in the post-processing systems, quantitative information of the fibrosis of the heart is obtained.