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  • 11 November 2019 to 31 December 2020
  • Awards: Infrastructure Awards

Measures at rest do not reflect the true physiological range of an individual. Dynamic imaging can improve sensitivity and specificity to better differentiate disease processes and unmask unique phenotypic characteristics.

With the support of the Oxford BHF CRE, we have purchased an MRI compatible ergometer to allow us to perform exercise under calibrated and personalised physiological workloads within the scanner.

The system allows for the exact work intensity in watts to be set and as the force generation is recorded throughout, the work intensity can be adjusted as required. This has significant advantages for comparing dynamic data between individuals and groups at specific effort levels, as well as for performing serial measures on the same individual to assess change over time, such as in interventional trials. This will lead to a significant expansion in our capabilities to undertake dynamic imaging and spectroscopy of both cardiac and skeletal muscle. Examples of physiological changes that can be assessed using the MR ergometer include cardiac function, lipid and energy metabolism, tissue oxygen supply, and perfusion.  

Image: Research team doing a test run of the ergometer in the MRI machine

Selfie of researchers undertaking practice run of the ergometer in the MRI machine