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09-12-2009 | Cardiology | Article

New MRI technique reveals gender, age differences in cardiac velocities


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MedWire News: Researchers have described gender- and age-related differences in normal cardiac motion, made possible by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tissue phase mapping (TPM).

“This information could change the diagnosis and assessment of heart disease from its earliest stages,” lead author Daniela Föll (University Hospital Freiburg, Germany) commented.

TPM permits a detailed assessment of regional left ventricular (LV) velocities in all spatial directions and with high spatial resolution covering the entire left ventricle, explains the team in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. Previous MRI applications were hampered by limited temporal resolution and time-consuming data post-processing, they note.

Föll and colleagues used TPM to measure radial, long-axis, and rotational myocardial velocities in LV basal, midventricular, and apical short axis locations in 58 healthy volunteers across three age groups, including 29 women.

For diastolic motion, they found long-axis and radial velocities were significantly reduced and delayed with increasing age in both genders.

Reductions in long-axis velocities and apical rotation during systole were also seen across increasing age groups in both men and women.

Overall, women had reduced systolic twist, apical rotation, and systolic radial velocities compared with men.

And segmental analysis of long-axis motion showed women had greater regional reductions of systolic and diastolic velocities with age than did men. Young women also had higher long-axis velocities in basal segments than men, a difference that was reversed in older participants.

“We were surprised by the differences of myocardial motion we found in women, which were not all explained by anatomical differences,” remarked Föll.

The authors conclude: “The knowledge of the detected age- and gender-related differences in myocardial motion is fundamental for further investigations of cardiac disease.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2009

By Caroline Price

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