Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Hearts Unite
02 February 2012

Hearts Unite

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans can be used to look at the structure of internal organs such as the heart. A cardiac atlas is produced by scanning large numbers of hearts and merging the information. This results in a 3D representation of the combined hearts which can be compared, using statistical analysis, to other MRI scans. Today’s image shows a comparison between two cardiac atlases, one from patients with cardiomyopathies that affect the muscle of the heart, and one from healthy volunteers. The red and yellow areas highlight where the thickness of the muscular heart wall differs between the two groups. A fingerprint has been superimposed on the image to remind us it is a computer representation. This is part of an ongoing unpublished study to analyse the effects of different genes on heart shape and function.

Written by Julie Webb

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