Lurie Children's Cardiac Imaging team is leading several research initiatives.
4D MRI Research
The multidisciplinary MR/CT program is researching ways to reduce MR imaging exam time and minimize anesthesia or sedation used during imaging exams. In the multi-year NIH/NHLBI funded study, Functional Cardiovascular 4D MRI in Congenital Heart Disease, Lurie Children's cardiologists and radiologists are collaborating with Northwestern bioengineers to develop a comprehensive 20-minute 4D MR exam that might replace the standard 60-90 minute MRI protocol. In addition to studying how the new technique may reduce exposure to anesthesia, the team is investigating how 4D visualization of complex blood flow dynamics may predict progression of cardiovascular disease. The visualization is shown below.
Our aim is to determine whether increased quantities of circulating microfibril fragments, measured with a simple blood test, are associated with aortic root size and increased growth of the aortic root in Marfan syndrome and related disorders.
Our aims are, 1) To establish a Z-score database for common echocardiographic (echo) measurements based on a uniformly defined and racially diverse population of normal children from multiple centers over a wide geographic area, and 2) to collect electrocardiograms (ECG) from the same population of normal children for future establishment of ECG reference values.
Our aim is to evaluate patients with BAV and use their data to assess long-term outcomes. This longitudinal monitoring will allow us to determine predictors of morbidity and mortality on our patient population in order to establish and streamline best medical practices. Our hope is to expand the body of knowledge on BAV, to create an extensive database for future retrospective and hypothesis testing, and to develop a potential pool of potential participants for future research studies.
We partner extensively with the Department of Medical Imaging in our research efforts.