Discovery of Two World-First MRI Uses

The use of imaging has long been a strength of the Medical Center, and W. Gregory Hundley, MD, led two “world-first” efforts with magnetic resonance imaging in less than a year. First, Medical Center researchers reported the successful use of MRI to diagnose significant blockages in blood vessels leading to the heart. It was the first non-invasive test to visualize blockages and determine whether treatment was required. Then, they were the first to view the heart during vigorous beating and diagnose blocked arteries based on an abnormal pumping motion.

One of the benefits of the MRI test was that it only takes 35 minutes in the MRI scanner and can be used for patients unable to have an ultrasound to detect heart disease.

In the years that followed, Hundley and others cardiologists and radiologists continued their work with MRI. They developed a procedure to predict heart attack through the use of software and an analysis system that allowed physicians to see heart movement within seconds after it happens, a real-time capability crucial for patients in crisis.

Hundley more recently applied use of MRI to detect chemotherapy-induced cardiovascular injury in breast cancer patients. The goal is to help determine treatments for breast cancer patients that will not cause cardiovascular issues or damage.