Pulse Sequences for Cardiac MRI

Elizabeth R. Jenista, PhD

*Duke Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
Address correspondence to: Elizabeth R. Jenista, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3934, Durham, NC 27710. E-mail: elizabeth.specht@duke.edu.

Disclosures: Ms Jenista reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) has emerged as a leading imaging technology for the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. CMR can provide a wealth of diagnostic information in one examination, simply by changing software parameters, and without any modifications to the hardware. For example, in one examination, CMR can provide high-quality images showing ventricular function, myocardial perfusion and viability, valve function, and cardiovascular anatomy. Understanding the mechanisms used to create these different types of images provides a distinct advantage to the technologist, allowing for optimized image performance, improved diagnostic quality, and the ability to recognize and avoid or minimize artifacts. This article describes the basic imaging techniques used in CMR and the underlying physics of CMR, provides example images for each sequence, and discusses possible artifacts and how to avoid them.

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