Dr. Grist Highlights Cardio MRI at NIH Clinical Center

Posted on January 2016

Experts across the country use cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take both still and moving pictures of a beating heart. The tool allows them to look at the heart’s structure and function to assess potential treatment. Department Chair Thomas Grist, M.D., the invited speaker for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2015 John Doppman Memorial Lecture for Imaging Sciences, discussed this advanced tool in “New Developments in Cardiovascular MRI: From Form to Function.”

Located at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, the John Doppman Memorial Lecture in Imaging Sciences is an annual lecture series highlighting recent developments in the imaging sciences.

This lecture marked the 15th anniversary of the series honoring Dr. John Doppman who was a diagnostic and interventional radiologist at the Clinical Center for 36 years, and this was the second straight year with a speaker from UW: 2014’s lecturer was Perry Pickhardt, M.D., who spoke about the history of virtual colonoscopy.

During the lecture, Dr. Grist provided background on the development of qualitative and quantitative 4D Flow MRI and its applications for diagnosing and guiding the treatment of cardiovascular disorders. This type of MRI helps experts measure bloodflow patterns in 3D images. Advanced understanding of these bloodflow patterns allows clinicians to make more accurate diagnoses and create better therapeutic management techniques for cardiovascular diseases.

New research and development in MRI technology has reduced the time needed to capture and analyze the data, making these techniques more feasible for clinical use.

Looking forward, “we need better tools for processing and analyzing these data,” said Dr. Grist. “I think those tools will come. We have gone from initially taking a few days to process these images, and now we are down to actually processing the images and rendering reports within a few hours, and that’s a pretty dramatic revelation that it requires this team approach between radiology, medical physics, and visualization labs.”