Use of multi-modality Imaging to Understand Myocardial Function and Post-infarct Viability
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally. At UCL, a number of groups study the heart with various imaging techniques. For example, in MRI, alterations of myocardial T1 signal and ECV can reveal pathologies (diffuse fibrosis), unsuspected pathologies and preclinical disease (iron, amyloid). Dynamic PET data can be used to study perfusion and tissue viability as well as the possibility of using tracers that characterize myocardial remodelling (e.g. angiogenesis). CT angiography is used to diagnose coronary artery disease. There is a lot of potential complementarity in the information from these imaging modalities. At the Institute of Nuclear Medicine we have access to state-of-the-art PET/CT and PET/MR scanners making us a focal point for inter-disciplinary studies for multi-modality imaging. However, cardiac imaging is particularly challenging due to the complex movement of the heart and physical factors such as positron range for some PET tracers.
Projects in this area will look at:
- Combining fast MR sequences with PET data for joint estimation of the movement of the myocardium.
- Accurate acquisition modelling and developing new algorithms for image reconstruction for quantitative imaging.
- Multi-modal, multi-tracer, multi-time point studies to understand effect of intervention on post-infarct tissue recovery.