More precise MRI technique works better for patients with dilated cardiomyopathy

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A previously unused type of MRI scan can work to measure heart conditions in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, according to a new study published in Radiology.

The study found that increasing the phosphocreatine (PCr) signal-to-noise ratio by two and a half times at 7T readings compared to 3T readings didn’t diminish the integrity with which the scans could be interpreted. The results gathered when measuring the MRIs of healthy patients compared with measured results of the patients with dilated cardiomyopathy using a 7T MRI were similar to 3T results, meaning a 7T can be reliably used.

Healthy patients are expected to have higher PCr readings than patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, as established by 3T MRI readings. The 7T MRI scans showed similar findings in 10 healthy control subjects and 25 dilated cardiomyopathy patients participating in this study.

The study authors pointed out the benefits of using a 7T scan, especially because their results show little to no change in the way results are shown with the new 7T method. Higher signal-to-noise ratio in the 7T scans offered a view twice as precise of patients’ phosphocreatine to adenosine triphosphate ratio, an important measurement when monitoring dilated cardiomyopathy.

“These findings suggest that the increased precision of measuring [phosphocreatine/adenosine triphosphate] PCr/ATP at 7T might improve the ability of phosphorus spectroscopy to deliver biochemical insights through comparison with other important cardiac parameters in future studies” the study authors said.

Having a more precise reading of patients’ conditions can help inform better treatment options.