Long-Term Prognosis of Patients With Coronary Microvascular Disease Using Stress Perfusion Cardiac Magnetic Resonance
A team from HKUMed’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology set out to answer why some patients report chest pain despite tests by their doctors showing no significant narrowing of their coronary arteries.
The team’s work drew on their database of cardiac MRI cases from three hospitals in Hong Kong, inviting those patients for stress cardiac MRI scans, which use drugs to mimic the effects of exercise on the heart, to identify microscopic coronary artery disease.
Cardiac MRI can help identify microvascular dysfunction, or abnormal blood flow in the small vessels in the heart, by measuring blood flow to identify cases of reduced overall flow. Measuring the blood flow entering the heart can be correlated with bad outcomes such as heart attack and death.
By measuring myocardial perfusion, or how well blood flows through the heart muscle, the research contributed to a growing body of evidence that coronary microvascular dysfunction is one of the causes of unexplained chest pain.
Following this research, HKUMed has now partnered with an international group of 16 centres to develop a fully automated method for quantifying myocardial blood flow. Analysis of images that previously took 30 minutes can now be completed in less than a minute.