Quantification of and correction for left ventricular systolic long-axis shortening by magnetic resonance tissue tagging and slice isolation

Walter J. Rogers, Edward P. Shapiro, James L. Weiss, Maurice B. Buchalter, Frank E. Rademakers, Myron L. Weisfeldt, Elias A. Zerhouni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Background. Measurement of regional left ventricular (LV) function is predicated on the ability to compare equivalent LV segments at different time points during the cardiac cycle. Standard techniques of short-axis acquisition in two-dimensional echocardiography, cine computed tomography, and standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquire images from a fixed plane and fail to compensate for through-plane motion. The shortening of the left ventricle along its long axis during systole results in planar images of two different levels of the ventricle, leading to error in any derived functional measurements. LV systolic long-axis motion was measured in 19 normal volunteers using MRI. Methods and Results. With a selective radio frequency (RF) tissue-tagging technique, three short-axis planes were labeled at end diastole and standard spin-echo images were acquired at end systole in the two- and four-chamber orientations. Persistence of the tags through systole allowed visualization of the intersecting short-axis tags in the long-axis images and allowed precise quantification of long-axis motion of the septum, lateral, anterior, and inferior walls at the base, mid, and apical LV levels. The total change in position along the long axis between end diastole and end systole was greatest at the base, which moved toward the apex 12.8±3.8 mm. The mid left ventricle moved 6.9±2.6 mm, and the apex was nearly stationary, moving only 1.6±2.2 mm (p<0.001). Having quantified the normal range of long-axis shortening, we developed a technique that isolates a slice of tissue between selective RF saturation planes at end diastole. Combining this with a wide end-systolic image slice, end-systolic images were acquired without contamination of signal from adjacent tissue moving into the imaging plane. This technique was validated in a moving phantom and in normal volunteers. Conclusions. Significant LV systolic long-axis shortening exists, and this effect is seen the most at the base and the least at the apex. At a given ventricular level, shortening varied significantly according to location. A method using selective saturation pulses and gated spin-echo MRI automatically corrects for this motion and thus eliminates misregistration artifact from regional function analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-731
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1991


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Radio frequency
  • Systolic motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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