Cardio Step Module

Investigating the cardiovascular system during exercise

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).

Physiological changes assessed with the MR technique:

  • energy metabolism, in-vivo metabolic studies: 31P MRS, 13C MRS, determination of mitochondrial function, anaerobic and aerobic capacity, and glycogen metabolism
  • lipid metabolism and deoxymyoglobin: 1H-MRS, tracking of intra- and extra-myocellular lipids and myoglobin
  • blood oxygen level dependency = BOLD, monitoring of the oxygen supply within the tissue
  • Perfusion MRI, microcirculation within the exercising muscle or the myocardium
  • phase-contrast MRI, assessment of blood flow in the feeding vessel or changes in the tissue elasticity (cartilage, disks)
  • CINE MRI, cardiac function, real time imaging of pressure-sensitive tissue like cartilage, ligamenta and disks
  • Diffusion tensor imaging, fiber tracking in muscle tissue
  • Relaxametry, determination of edema or water content in different tissues under stress (cartilage, ligamenta, muscle)

Diagnostic Pedal features:

  • Fast and easy handling of the ergometer in daily clinical routines
  • Cutting-edge technology for signal transmission without disrupting MR measurements
  • Automatic recordings of all relevant parameters (e.g. force, distance, frequency and energy output).
  • Fully automatic force adaptation powered by a pneumatic system and regulation of the energy output by user-friendly control software.