Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Could someone explain the difference between Cine-MRI and MRI? I am reading conflicting things online, such as Cine-MRI uses ECG-gating, or that Cine-MRI takes many images of the same position of the heart before stitching together the final result, and it is confusing me.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm not familiar with the technique, it is as I'm sure you already know very specialised and I've found it fairly difficult to find resources specific to cine-MRI. At a glance at the wikipedia entry, however, there are a few differences that I can point out to you.

A normal MRI will take a snapshot image of a section of the body in time, therefore can not be used to show motion of internal structures. By contrast, cine-mri takes several snapshots at different times and stitches them together into an animation, allowing the physician to see movement. For example, the technique is useful for imaging the beating heart and has also been used to examine the flow of cerebro-spinal fluid.

ECG gating refers to how the images are collected when the scan is of the heart. The timing of the scans matches up with the electrical activity in the heart measured with a surface ECG. As a undoubtedly hugely oversimplified example, the scanner might take an image at P,Q,R,S and T on the ECG waveform before then stitching them together into an animation:

Sinus rhythm ecg trace

share|improve this answer
Thank you! That helped a bunch! – tylerc0816 Dec 29 '12 at 19:04

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.