Assessment of global cardiac function.
High-resolution magnetic resonance cine imaging (cine-MRI) allows for a non-invasive assessment of ventricular function and mass in normal mice and in genetically and surgically modified mouse models of cardiac disease. The assessment of myocardial mass and function by cine-MRI does not rely on geometric assumptions, as the hearts are covered from the base to the apex, typically by a stack of two-dimensional images. The MR data acquisition is then followed by image segmentation of specific cine frames in each slice to obtain geometric and functional parameters, such as end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV) or ejection fraction (EF). This technique has been well established in clinical routine application and it is now also becoming the reference method in experimental cardiovascular MRI. The cine images are typically acquired in short- and long-axis orientations of the heart to facilitate an accurate assessment of cardiac functional parameters. These views can be difficult to identify, particularly in animals with diseased hearts. Furthermore, data analysis can be the source of a systematic error, mainly for myocardial mass measurement. We have established protocols that allow for a quick and reproducible way of obtaining the relevant cardiac views for cine-MRI, and for accurate image analysis.