Novel MRI Technical Developments for Noninvasive Measurements of Arterial Stiffness
Numerous evidences have shown cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity or physical inactivity, etc, to be related to heart disease. However, some risk factors remain unclear because of technical challenges from current diagnostic tools. Hardening of the arteries, one of the potential risk factors, has been regarded as the primary indicator of hypertension, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Unfortunately, there is no one single noninvasive diagnostic method for arterial compliance assessment available in the clinical settings. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a rapidly developing imaging modality that shows high levels of accuracy and reproducibility in evaluating of various heart disorders and blood flow abnormalities. However, the acquisition speed of MRI is not capable to accurately measure hardening of the arteries on patents. This project is designed to develop rapid MRI techniques to accelerate acquisition speed to measure stiffness of the arteries. The object of this project is to provide new noninvasive diagnostic tools to better characterize patients with arteriosclerosis and heart conditions, further improve the safety, accuracy and efficacy of current diagnostic procedures. Furthermore, numerous cardiovascular patients and ongoing clinical researches will be benefited from the achievements of this proposed project.