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Purpose: The goal of this study was to evaluate a newly developed semiautomated contour detection algorithm for the quantitative analysis of cardiovascular MRI.

Method: Left ventricular function parameters derived from automatically detected endocardial and epicardial contours were compared with results derived from manually traced contours in short-axis multislice GRE MRI studies of 10 normal volunteers and 10 infarct patients.

Results: Compared with manual image analysis, the semiautomated method resulted in the following systematic and random differences (auto - manual; mean /- SD): end-diastolic volume: -5.5 /- 9.7 ml; end-systolic volume: -3.6 /- 6.5 ml; ejection fraction: 1.7 /- 4.1%; left ventricular mass: 7.3 /- 20.6 g. Total analysis time for a complete study was reduced from 3-4 h for the manual analysis to <20 min using semiautomated contour detection.

Conclusion: Global left ventricular function parameters can be obtained with a high degree of accuracy and precision using the present semiautomated contour detection algorithm.

(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers