The Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Laboratories were originally established as Center for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance in 1995 by Drs. Samuel Wickline and Sándor Kovács with funding from The Jewish Hospital of St. Louis and its donors, and from Hewlett-Packard and Philips Medical Systems. In May of 1995, the Jewish Hospital Auxiliary held a charity auction to launch the original Center for Cardiovascular MR, with over 1000 people in attendance. In 1996, Jewish Hospital and Barnes Hospital merged to form Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The CMRL continues to receive support from Barnes-Jewish Hospital and its research foundation.
Since 1995, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Philips Medical Systems have collaborated on development of cardiovascular MR. The Philips relationship allows the CMRL to maintain a state-of-the art cardiac MRI scanner, and facilitates development of new methods for cardiovascular imaging. CMRL staff develop prototypes of software and hardware for the scanner and for image analysis, and work with Philips to incorporate software into products.
Over 1000 subjects have been imaged since the scanner became operational in December 1995. The CMRL operates a research clinical service for referring physicians for cardiovascular imaging. Research reports on the study findings are provided routinely to referring physicians.
Since the CMRL team was brought together, more than 200 scientific papers and abstracts have been submitted and/or published, and collaborative relationships have been formed with multiple companies working on various aspects of cardiac MR. More than 25 grants and contracts have been awarded to support CMRL research since 1995. Technical research focuses on development of new methods for cardiovascular imaging including use of contrast agents in cardiovascular MR, development of methods to image the coronary arteries, development of real-time, interactive scan methods, and development of novel methods for patient monitoring in CMR. Basic physiological research focuses on characterization of cardiac remodeling in aging and after infarction, cardiac metabolism using spectroscopic methods, angiogenesis, and cardiac structure function relationships. Another focus is “molecular imaging” of proteins with pathophysiologic significance with the use of novel nanoparticle contrast agents that can be targeted to specific sites for diagnosing of vascular disease and cancer, and for drug delivery.
The CMRL is funded by a variety of sources, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital and its research foundation, Philips Medical Systems, the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and corporate research sponsors involved in cardiac MR.
The SCMR was founded in 1997 to promote dissemination of cardiac MRI and provide education for physicians and technical staff seeking to enter cardiac MRI. Dr. Samuel Wickline was the SCMR Annual Meeting Program Chairman in 1999 and 2000. Dr. Wickline was elected to the Board of Directors in 2000 and is Chairman of the Reimbursement Committee and serves on the Clinical Practice Committee. Dr. Wickline also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance.