Measurement of cardiac function is often performed in mice after, for example, a myocardial infarction. Cardiac MRI is often used because it is noninvasive and provides high temporal and spatial resolution for the left and right ventricle. In animal cardiac MRI, the quality of the required electrocardiogram signal is variable and sometimes deteriorates over time, especially with infarcted hearts or cardiac hypertrophy. Therefore, we compared the self-gated IntraGateFLASH method with a prospectively triggered FLASH (fast low-angle shot) method in mice with myocardial infarcts (n?=?16) and in control mice (n?=?21). Mice with a myocardial infarct and control mice were imaged in a vertical 9.4-T MR system. Images of contiguous 1-mm slices were acquired from apex to base with prospective and self-gated methods. Data were processed to calculate cardiac function parameters for the left and right ventricle. The signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios were calculated in mid-ventricular slices. The signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios of the self-gated data were higher than those of the prospectively gated data. Differences between the two gating methods in the cardiac function parameters for both left and right ventricle (e.g. end-diastolic volumes) did not exceed the inter-observer variability in control or myocardial infarcted mice. Both methods gave comparable results with regard to the cardiac function parameters in both healthy control mice and mice with myocardial infarcts. Moreover, the self-gated method provided better signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios when the acquisition time was equal. In conclusion, the self-gated method is suitable for routine use in cardiac MRI in mice with myocardial infarcts as well as in control mice, and obviates the need for electrocardiogram triggering and respiratory gating. In both gating methods, more than 10 frames per cardiac cycle are recommended.
- cardiac MRI