This includes visualization of the coronary artery lumen blood pool, the coronary artery vessel wall, and the coronary veins.
Lumen and vessel wall imaging are currently limited by coronary motion that is not sufficiently constrained. Coronary vein imaging will be critical for guiding electrophysiology procedures, but contrast enhancement mechanisms at 3T are clearly lacking. We aim to thoroughly investigate coronary motion, its effects on the images, and to develop novel motion suppression and contrast enhancement concepts. For coronary vein imaging, 3T-specific contrast enhancement methods are being developed. The image below was acquired in collaboration with Albert de Roos and Andrew Webb from the Leiden University.
Atherosclerosis that leads to luminal narrowing is really a disease of the vessel wall. Typically, luminal narrowing is preceded by positive arterial remodeling or an outwards growth of the vessel wall. Therefore, and to detect early atherosclerosis, the visualization of the coronary artery vessel wall is important. At the CHUV, new methods for the visualization and quantitative characterization of the coronary vessel wall are being developed. In the movie below, you can see different anatomical levels of the vessel wall of a right coronary artery.