Dr. Günsch uses Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) to investigate myocardial and cardiovascular (patho)physiologies. We conduct our research together with the University Institute for Diagnostic, Interventional and Pediatric Radiology at the University Hospital Bern / Inselspital.
Our special interest is a technique called Oxygenation-sensitive Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (OS-CMR) that uses the so called Blood Oxygen Level-Dependent (BOLD) Effect. This technique uses deoxygenated hemoglobin as an endogenous contrast agent in order to measure changes in myocardial oxygenation after certain stimuli. In human studies as well as in experimental animal models we have assessed the changes in myocardial oxygenation in response to systemic changes of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood. Our experimental data indicate that excess oxygen may have detrimental effects in the presence of significant coronary artery stenosis. We are currently running a study assess this effect in a human population.
We are also interested in detecting and evaluating myocardial injury that is related to electric interventions, such as cardioversion or defibrillation. Yet, it is not clear whether these routine and emergency interventions result in significant injury in humans. This technique has the potential to assess its acute and long term effects but it may also be helpful in clarifying whether a non-responders are subject to poor shock application.