Postoperative evaluation of congenital heart disease by magnetic resonance imaging

A A Roest, W A Helbing, E E van der Wall, A de Roos
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging: JMRI 1999, 10 (5): 656-66
In the last four decades the survival of patients with corrected or palliated congenital heart disease has increased dramatically. However, post-operative abnormalities frequently occur and therefore a noninvasive imaging tool is mandatory for the timely detection of morphological as well as functional abnormalities. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is ideally suited for the noninvasive diagnosis and post-operative follow-up of congenital heart disease. Spin-echo MRI is able to visualize structures that may be difficult to assess with other noninvasive image modalities and is sensitive in the detection of post-interventional stenoses or aneurysms. Because the function of the ventricles may deteriorate over time after correction or palliation of a congenital cardiac malformation, the use of gradient-echo MRI is essential in the follow-up after correction or palliation, as no other conventional technique allows such detailed evaluation of ventricular function, without geometrical assumptions. Phase-contrast MRI is well suited to assess valvular function, allowing accurate measurement of regurgitation or stenosis. Shunt quantification is another application of phase-contrast MRI. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 1999;10:656-666.

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