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Fetal Electrocardiogram (fECG) Gated MRI
Academic Radiology, Department of Cardiovascular Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2013; in revised form: 12 August 2013 / Accepted: 22 August 2013 / Published: 23 August 2013
Abstract: We have developed a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-compatible system to enable gating of a scanner to the heartbeat of a foetus for cardiac, umbilical cord flow and other possible imaging applications. We performed radiofrequency safety testing prior to a fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) gated imaging study in pregnant volunteers (n = 3). A compact monitoring device with advanced software capable of reliably detecting both the maternal electrocardiogram (mECG) and fECG simultaneously was modified by the manufacturer (Monica Healthcare, Nottingham, UK) to provide an external TTL trigger signal from the detected fECG which could be used to trigger a standard 1.5 T MR (GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI, USA) gating system with suitable attenuation. The MR scanner was tested by triggering rapidly during image acquisition at a typical fetal heart rate (123 beats per minute) using a simulated fECG waveform fed into the gating system. Gated MR images were also acquired from volunteers who were attending for a repeat fetal Central Nervous System (CNS) examination using an additional rapid cardiac imaging sequence triggered from the measured fECG. No adverse safety effects were encountered. This is the first time fECG gating has been used with MRI and opens up a range of new possibilities to study a developing foetus.
Keywords: fetal electrocardiogram gating; magnetic resonance imaging; MRI safety
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Paley, M.N.; Morris, J.E.; Jarvis, D.; Griffiths, P.D. Fetal Electrocardiogram (fECG) Gated MRI. Sensors 2013, 13, 11271-11279.
Paley MN, Morris JE, Jarvis D, Griffiths PD. Fetal Electrocardiogram (fECG) Gated MRI. Sensors. 2013; 13(9):11271-11279.
Paley, Martyn N.; Morris, Janet E.; Jarvis, Debbie; Griffiths, Paul D. 2013. "Fetal Electrocardiogram (fECG) Gated MRI." Sensors 13, no. 9: 11271-11279.