Cardio Step Module
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart during physical stress is nowadays carried out routinely. Due to the lack of suitable devices, usually drugs like Dobutamin or Adenosin are used to increase the heart rate during examinations. The patients reaction to these drugs can not be predicted precisely and is potentially harmful. A cheaper and easier solution is the elevation of the heart rate via physical activity.
The Diagnostic Pedal Cardio Step has been especially designed to stress-test the heart in a magnetic resonance bore and is suitable for all magnetic field strengths. Thus, it is possible to investigate the performance and perfusion of the myocard during and after exercise via MRI or magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).
Cardiac stress tests with or without contrast enhancing tracers offer several advantages over measurements at resting conditions:
The video above shows realtime cine measurements (part 1: at rest, part 2: immediately after stepping, part 3: during stepping) of the heart of a 70 year old, male patient suffering from posterior wall infarction about 10 years ago.
The measurements were done on a 3T Siemens Magnetom Skyra scanner. Image acquisition was triggered via ECG (electrocardiopraphy) for resting measurements and after exercise and via pulsoxymetry during the stress test. The resistance of the stepper was adjusted in a way that the heart rate did not exceed 120 bpm. This target heart rate is generally achieved after a few minutes of stepping.
The cardiologic modules were designed as user-friendly devices for routine clinical examinations. The approximate setup time is less than 5 minutes. The sophisticated design of the diagnostic pedal is the result of consistently applied anthropometry. The pedal platform allows the test subject to be positioned comfortably and securely and the stepping resistance can be easily adapted to the patients physical condition by adjusting the air pressure from outside the shielded room.
The development of the cardiologic modules was performed by a newly founded competence center in close cooperation with Ergospect GmbH, the Department of Radiology and Cardiology of the Medical University of Innsbruck. This project was funded by the Tyrolean Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and was subject to the regulations of EU law as well as to the Directive of the Tyrolean Government on the Funding of Science, Research and Development.