Magnetic resonance measurements of left ventricular volume and ejection fraction based on measurements of area and length in a single oblique plane containing the long axis of the ventricle were compared with measurements made by summing the areas of the chamber in multiple contiguous slices. The multislice technique is known to be accurate, but the single slice technique is much quicker; it takes only nine minutes of acquisition time for both volume and ejection fraction. In 25 normal subjects there was good agreement between the two methods of measuring volume with a mean (SD) difference between measurements of 2.0 (6.6) ml. In 20 patients with previous infarction it was less good with a mean (SD) difference of 4.5 (18.1) ml. The mean (SD) difference of ejection fraction measurements was -0.019 (0.038) in the normal subjects and -0.059 (0.106) in the patients, and the discrepancy between the two techniques was greatest in the patients with a pronounced abnormality of wall motion and low ejection fraction. In a further 25 normal subjects, the agreement between single plane volume measurements in the vertical and horizontal long axis planes was good, indicating that either plane is suitable for rapid measurement. Single plane measurements of left ventricular volume and ejection fraction can be made with the accuracies stated, which are sufficient for routine clinical use except in patients with a pronounced abnormality of wall motion. In combination with measurements of regional wall thickness and motion, previously described, the technique offers a rapid non-invasive assessment of both global and regional left ventricular function.
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