Method for Artifact-Free Real-Time Myocardial Perfusion MRI Without Need for Cardiac Gating

Tech ID: li000719



A decrease in stress myocardial perfusion represents an early marker of the functional effects associated with abnormalities in the coronary arteries. To date, myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is most commonly assessed using nuclear imaging modalities. Stress cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is not yet widely used —particularly in the United States; however, multiple multicenter trials have demonstrated higher accuracy in detection of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) with CMR than with SPECT MPI. With recent hardware and software improvements, vasodilator stress CMR first-pass perfusion imaging is emerging as an attractive alternative, providing comprehensive cardiac assessment with a radiation-free approach. Despite significant technical advances during the past decade, persistent problems have limited the widespread use of perfusion CMR. One problem is that CMR is a complex method far more dependent on the expertise of the technologist than nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging, and is considered to be a complicated modality for diagnosis of CAD. A major source of complexity has been the need for near-perfect ECG gating. A second problem is that stress MRI studies are commonly associated with an image artifact called the “subendocardial dark-rim artifact” that makes image interpretation difficult even for experts.


Stress perfusion imaging with CMR offers the promise of providing a comprehensive cardiac examination without radiation. However, there is clearly a need in the art for an improved CMR perfusion technique that eliminates the need for ECG gating altogether and produces images free of the dark-rim artifact. 


Technology Description

Dr. Dibiao Li from the Cedars Sinai Medical Center has developed a novel high-resolution cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) perfusion technique that eliminates the need for ECG gating or synchronization altogether. The present invention offers several improvements over prior methods, including (1) continuous, un-interrupted acquisition without any ECG/cardiac gating or synchronization that achieves the required image contrast for imaging perfusion defects, (2) an accelerated image reconstruction technique that is tailored to the data acquisition scheme and eliminates/minimizes dark-rim image artifacts, and (3) concurrent imaging of perfusion and myocardial wall motion (cardiac function), which in certain cases can eliminate the need for a separate assessment of cardiac function (hence shortening overall exam time), and/or provide complementary diagnostic information in CAD patients.


Stage of Development

Clinical data



The present invention aims at simplifying the scan procedure and improving its robustness by eliminating the need for ECG or other forms of cardiac gating and the long-standing problem involving dark-rim image artifacts. The invention can also reduce or eliminate the need for separate imaging of cardiac function (“cine” scan) because of its ability to concurrently image perfusion and function.


License Type




Myocardial perfusion magnetic resonance


Intellectual Property

• U.S. Non-provisional Patent Application 14/590,935 filed



• Sharif et al. All-systolic non-ECG-gated myocardial perfusion MRI: Feasibility of multi-slice continuous first-pass imaging. Magn Reson Med. 2015 Dec; 74:1661–1674. [Link]

• Chen et al. Quantification of myocardial blood flow using non-electrocardiogram-triggered MRI with three-slice coverage. Magn Reson Med. 2016 May; 75(5):2112-20. [Link]


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Julien Brohan
Debiao Li
Daniel Berman
Behzad Sharif
C. Noel Bairey Merz