The cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) laboratory at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, TX is one of the largest CMR programs in the United States. The laboratory is under the direction of Dr. Dipan Shah and is equipped with three dedicated clinical CMR scanners (1.5T Siemens Avanto, 1.5T Siemens Aera, 3.0T Siemens Skyra-fit) and 1 additional research CMR scanner (1.5 Siemens Aera). The laboratory performs > 3000 clinical CMR studies per year including a broad mix of viability, cardiomyopathy, stress, valvular, vascular, and congenital CMR exams on a diverse international patient population.



This certification program, which can be conducted in 3 months continuously or in 12 separate weekly blocks will fulfill all requirements for Level 2 certification according to the SCMR and ACCF guidelines. After completion of this program participants will have the skills necessary to independently interpret CMR imaging studies.

Additional information can be obtained at


  1. Participants will be provided with reading materials, and should be prepared to discuss the content with the CMR attending.
  2. Participants will be expected to attend mini-didactic sessions on CMR by the attending physicians.
  3. Participants will gain understanding of why certain specialized imaging sequences are applicable for specific clinical protocols, including imaging of heart function, valves, perfusion, delayed enhancement, and peripheral arteries.
  4. Participants will gain exposure to the acquisition and interpretation of diagnostic CMR
  5. Participants will have documented involvement in at least 150 CMR studies representing the range of abnormalities observed in practice, including substantial proportions (at least 25 each) of cardiac and vascular studies. For at least 50 of these studies the candidate was present or acted as the primary operator, and performed the analysis and initial interpretation.


Typical daily schedule:

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM:  Observation of live scanning and “hands-on” scanning
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM:  Lunch and attendance of MDHVC noon conference
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM:  Independent review of cases
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM:  Mentored review of cases with Level 3 trained CMR expert


At least once per week there will be a 1 hour didactic CMR lecture.  Lecture topics include:

  • Basic MRI Physics
  • CMR Pulse Sequences - Spin echo, GRE, SSFP cine, Dark blood, CMR for LV and RV function
  • CMR for Valvular Regurgitation
  • CMR for Valvular Stenosis
  • CMR for Viability Assessment
  • CMR Assessment of Cardiomyopathy -HCM, noncompaction, Amyloid, ARVD, etc.
  • Advanced Physics - Fourier transformation, parallel imaging
  • MRA Imaging of Central Vascular System (Thoracic Aorta and pulmonary viens)
  • MRA Imaging of PAD and Venous disease
  • CMR T1 mapping, Artifacts, CMR in implanted devices/Gadolinium Safety/MRI Safety
  • CMR for Pericardial Disease and Cardiac Masses
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Stress CMR

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