Siemens receives U.S. patent for cardiac MRI technology
Siemens Medical Solutions has been awarded a U.S. patent for cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) self-gating, a new technology developed with partners from Northwestern University and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation that has the potential to eliminate the need to obtain an electrocardiogram (ECG) signal during imaging, the company said.

The new software is designed to overcome the challenges of CMR imaging by extracting cardiac motion information from MRI data, and eliminating the need for wires and electrodes to be attached to the patient, Siemens said.

Techniques do exist that allow CMR exams to be acquired in a real-time mode without ECG synchronization. However, for high resolution and diagnostic value, most CMR exams are acquired over a series of approximately six-twelve successive heartbeats, so accurate synchronization of the scan with the heartbeat is essential, Siemens said.

"ECG requires lengthy set-up times and is not 100 percent effective due to the distortions of the signal caused by the magnetic field of the MRI scanner," said Andrew C. Larson, PhD, assistant professor of radiology, Northwestern University. "The advent of self-gating will make it possible to acquire images of a beating heart without the need of an ECG signal."