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Aaron Hess


Postdoctoral Researcher

High resolution cardiac MRI, with 7T and compressed sensing

I seek new approaches to solving cardiovascular problems with MRI. The left atrium is of key importance in cardiovascular disease, and in particular atrial fibrillation which affects over 30 million individuals worldwide and is associated with significant complications including stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and premature death. Yet, atrial imaging is currently relatively crude, particularly in comparison to the sophisticated tools available for assessment of the left ventricle. 

My research seeks to contribute to solving these problems using MRI. I will achieve this by combining three advances in MRI technology: (i) measurement and correction of cardiac motion using new approaches, (ii) harnessing fast MRI with compressed sensing and (iii) ultra-high field MRI (7T). Together these technologies have the potential to improve assessment of the atrial myocardium, blood flow, and function, and thereby help better individualise AF therapy (such as drugs and invasive procedures) and improve stroke risk prediction.

I currently managed the cardiac 7T imaging facility at OCMR. In this work we have shown that 7T measurements meet the theoretically expected increase in signal to noise for 4D flow and that cardiac perfusion has great potential. My current work is focused on measuring respiratory and cardiac motion using changes in conductivity of the subject as observed through a local MRI transmit array at 7T.