Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging is considered a powerful clinical tool for the non-invasive assessment of the morphology and function of the human heart. Nevertheless, having to deal with a moving organ, it is technically demanding and rapid imaging techniques as well as ECG gating have to be employed.
Given the signal-to-noise ratio advantage inherent to higher magnetic field strengths, the utilisation of ultra-high fields such as 7 Tesla is considered to significantly improve the signal contrast and spatial resolution in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. The ultra-high field also may create new opportunities for MR based myocardial tissue characterisation, imaging of the myocardial microstructure and for cardiac chamber quantification.
In this new area of research we will explore the possibilities and technical challenges of cardiac MRI at 7 Tesla. First results examining the anatomy and function of the human heart look promising.