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High throughput clinical CMR service: role of technologists in LV volume analysis


This study investigates the role of CMR technologists in performing LV volume analysis in a busy clinical CMR service.


Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging studies are increasingly being used in clinical practice for assessment of viability following an acute coronary syndrome. There have been no previous studies investigating the role of CMR technologists in contributing to the analysis of these scans using semi-automated software.


20 CMR studies of acute coronary syndromes were included in this study. Analysis was conducted using Argus, Siemens semi-automated volume analysis software. 3 observers conducted the image analysis with two levels of training: Observer 1) “Reference” CMR level 3 physician; Observer 2) and 3) CMR technologists with no previous experience on CMR analysis. Both technologists underwent a 2h tutorial on how to use the software. All 3 observers analysed 20 studies, and re-analysed 10 studies 24 hours after.


Intra-observer variability was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC); inter-observer variability was assessed using Bland Altman plots for agreement.

We observed a good inter-observer variability between Observer 1 and 2, and between Observer 1 and 3 in assessing EDV, ESV, and LV mass (Table 1). Among these parameters, the lowest inter-observer variability was observed for ESV. Bland Altman plots suggested acceptable agreement.

Table 1 Inter-observer variability

Technologist intra-observer variability was comparable to that of the reference observer (ICC technologist volumes and mass 0.94-0.99, ICC reference 0.97-0.99).


Following a short training, CMR technologists can perform an accurate analysis of LV volume using semi-automated software, compared to an expert CMR physician. These results suggest that technologists can play a role in assisting clinical reporting in a busy clinical CMR service.


NIHR Cardiovascular BRU, Bristol Heart Institute.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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McAlindon, E., Lawton, C., Imobeke, C. et al. High throughput clinical CMR service: role of technologists in LV volume analysis. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 14 (Suppl 1), P44 (2012).

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