Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is an imaging modality that allows for a non-invasive assessment of anatomy, function, structure, viability and metabolism in hearts of patients and of small animal models (e.g., mice and rats) with cardiovascular disease. Dedicated techniques to accelerate the inherently slow MR imaging process have resulted in a shift of paradigm in clinical CMR. The application of fast imaging techniques in preclinical CMR research lags far behind the clinical standard. The aim of this chapter is to review the challenges and advances in fast preclinical CMR. More specifically, parallel imaging, and reconstruction based techniques, including k-t- BLAST, k-t-PCA and Compressed Sensing will be discussed and examples for each application will be provided. We conclude that there is indeed a need for accelerating preclinical CMR, to increase the amount of information obtainable from each animal, to reduce the number animals used in preclinical research and to make an inherently expensive imaging modality more cost-efficient.
Keywords: Heart, myocardium, cardiovascular disease, phased-array, parallel imaging, compressed sensing, k-t BLAST, k-t PCA, cardiac function, T1-mapping, LGE, Fast imaging acquisition techniques, CMR.