• mouse cardiac MRI;
  • Cine;
  • diastolic function;
  • retrospective triggering


To assess left ventricular (LV) diastolic function in mice with Cine MRI, a high frame rate (>60 frames per cardiac cycle) is required. For conventional electrocardiography-triggered Cine MRI, the frame rate is inversely proportional to the pulse repetition time (TR). However, TR cannot be lowered at will to increase the frame rate because of gradient hardware, spatial resolution, and signal-to-noise limitations. To overcome these limitations associated with electrocardiography-triggered Cine MRI, in this paper, we introduce a retrospectively triggered Cine MRI protocol capable of producing high-resolution high frame rate Cine MRI of the mouse heart for addressing left ventricular diastolic function. Simulations were performed to investigate the influence of MRI sequence parameters and the k-space filling trajectory in relation to the desired number of frames per cardiac cycle. An optimized protocol was applied in vivo and compared with electrocardiography-triggered Cine for which a high-frame rate could only be achieved by several interleaved acquisitions. Retrospective high frame rate Cine MRI proved superior to the interleaved electrocardiography-triggered protocols. High spatial-resolution Cine movies with frames rates up to 80 frames per cardiac cycle were obtained in 25 min. Analysis of left ventricular filling rate curves allowed accurate determination of early and late filling rates and revealed subtle impairments in left ventricular diastolic function of diabetic mice in comparison with nondiabetic mice. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.