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1.  Extracellular volume fraction mapping in the myocardium, part 2: initial clinical experience 
Background
Diffuse myocardial fibrosis, and to a lesser extent global myocardial edema, are important processes in heart disease which are difficult to assess or quantify with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) using conventional late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) or T1-mapping. Measurement of the myocardial extracellular volume fraction (ECV) circumvents factors that confound T1-weighted images or T1-maps. We hypothesized that quantitative assessment of myocardial ECV would be clinically useful for detecting both focal and diffuse myocardial abnormalities in a variety of common and uncommon heart diseases.
Methods
A total of 156 subjects were imaged including 62 with normal findings, 33 patients with chronic myocardial infarction (MI), 33 with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), 15 with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), 7 with acute myocarditis, 4 with cardiac amyloidosis, and 2 with systemic capillary leak syndrome (SCLS). Motion corrected ECV maps were generated automatically from T1-maps acquired pre- and post-contrast calibrated by blood hematocrit. Abnormally-elevated ECV was defined as >2SD from the mean ECV in individuals with normal findings. In HCM the size of regions of LGE was quantified as the region >2 SD from remote.
Results
Mean ECV of 62 normal individuals was 25.4 ± 2.5% (m ± SD), normal range 20.4%-30.4%. Mean ECV within the core of chronic myocardial infarctions (without MVO) (N = 33) measured 68.5 ± 8.6% (p < 0.001 vs normal). In HCM, the extent of abnormally elevated ECV correlated to the extent of LGE (r = 0.72, p < 0.001) but had a systematically greater extent by ECV (mean difference 19 ± 7% of slice). Abnormally elevated ECV was identified in 4 of 16 patients with non-ischemic DCM (38.1 ± 1.9% (p < 0.001 vs normal) and LGE in the same slice appeared “normal” in 2 of these 4 patients. Mean ECV values in other disease entities ranged 32-60% for cardiac amyloidosis (N = 4), 40-41% for systemic capillary leak syndrome (N = 2), and 39-56% within abnormal regions affected by myocarditis (N = 7).
Conclusions
ECV mapping appears promising to complement LGE imaging in cases of more homogenously diffuse disease. The ability to display ECV maps in units that are physiologically intuitive and may be interpreted on an absolute scale offers the potential for detection of diffuse disease and measurement of the extent and severity of abnormal regions.
doi:10.1186/1532-429X-14-64
PMCID: PMC3442966  PMID: 22967246
Fibrosis; Edema; Gadolinium; Myocardial infarction; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Dilated cardiomyopathy; Myocarditis; Systemic capillary leak syndrome
2.  Increased myocardial extracellular volume in active idiopathic systemic capillary leak syndrome 
Background
The Systemic Capillary Leak Syndrome (SCLS) is a rare disorder of unknown etiology presenting as recurrent episodes of shock and peripheral edema due to leakage of fluid into soft tissues. Insights into SCLS pathogenesis are few due to the scarcity of cases, and the etiology of vascular barrier disruption in SCLS is unknown. Recent advances in cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) allow for the quantitative assessment of the myocardial extracellular volume (ECV), which can be increased in conditions causing myocardial edema. We hypothesized that measurement of myocardial ECV may detect myocardial vascular leak in patients with SCLS.
Methods
Fifty-six subjects underwent a standard CMR examination at the NIH Clinical Center from 2009 until 2014: 20 patients with acute intermittent SCLS, six subjects with chronic SCLS, and 30 unaffected controls. Standard volumetric measurements; late gadolinium enhancement imaging and pre- and post-contrast T1 mapping were performed. ECV was calculated by calibration of pre- and post-contrast T1 values with blood hematocrit.
Results
Demographics and cardiac parameters were similar in both groups. There was no significant valvular disorder in either group. Subjects with chronic SCLS had higher pre-contrast myocardial T1 compared to healthy controls (T1: 1027 ± 44 v. 971 ± 41, respectively; p = 0.03) and higher myocardial ECV than patients with acute intermittent SCLS or controls: 33.8 ± 4.6, 26.9 ± 2.6, 26 ± 2.4, respectively; p = 0.007 v. acute intermittent; P = 0.0005 v. controls). When patients with chronic disease were analyzed together with five patients with acute intermittent disease who had just experienced an acute SCLS flare, ECV values were significantly higher than in subjects with acute intermittent SCLS in remission or age-matched controls and (31.2 ± 4.6 %, 26.5 ± 2.7 %, 26 ± 2.4 %, respectively; p = 0.01 v. remission, p = 0.001 v. controls). By contrast, T1 values did not distinguish these three subgroups (1008 ± 40, 978 ± 40, 971 ± 41, respectively, p = 0.2, active v. remission; p = 0.06 active v. controls). Abundant myocardial edema without evidence of acute inflammation was detected in cardiac tissue postmortem in one patient.
Conclusions
Patients with active SCLS have significantly higher myocardial ECV than age-matched controls or SCLS patients in remission, which correlated with histopathological findings in one patient.
doi:10.1186/s12968-015-0181-6
PMCID: PMC4551171  PMID: 26310790
Systemic capillary leak syndrome; Mycocardial edema; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
3.  Gradient Spin Echo (GraSE) imaging for fast myocardial T2 mapping 
Background
Quantitative Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) techniques have gained high interest in CMR research. Myocardial T2 mapping is thought to be helpful in diagnosis of acute myocardial conditions associated with myocardial edema. In this study we aimed to establish a technique for myocardial T2 mapping based on gradient-spin-echo (GraSE) imaging.
Methods
The local ethics committee approved this prospective study. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects prior to CMR. A modified GraSE sequence allowing for myocardial T2 mapping in a single breath-hold per slice using ECG-triggered acquisition of a black blood multi-echo series was developed at 1.5 Tesla. Myocardial T2 relaxation time (T2-RT) was determined by maximum likelihood estimation from magnitude phased-array multi-echo data. Four GraSE sequence variants with varying number of acquired echoes and resolution were evaluated in-vitro and in 20 healthy volunteers. Inter-study reproducibility was assessed in a subset of five volunteers. The sequence with the best overall performance was further evaluated by assessment of intra- and inter-observer agreement in all volunteers, and then implemented into the clinical CMR protocol of five patients with acute myocardial injury (myocarditis, takotsubo cardiomyopathy and myocardial infarction).
Results
In-vitro studies revealed the need for well defined sequence settings to obtain accurate T2-RT measurements with GraSE. An optimized 6-echo GraSE sequence yielded an excellent agreement with the gold standard Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill sequence. Global myocardial T2 relaxation times in healthy volunteers was 52.2 ± 2.0 ms (mean ± standard deviation). Mean difference between repeated examinations (n = 5) was −0.02 ms with 95% limits of agreement (LoA) of [−4.7; 4.7] ms. Intra-reader and inter-reader agreement was excellent with mean differences of −0.1 ms, 95% LoA = [−1.3; 1.2] ms and 0.1 ms, 95% LoA = [−1.5; 1.6] ms, respectively (n = 20). In patients with acute myocardial injury global myocardial T2-RTs were prolonged (mean: 61.3 ± 6.7 ms).
Conclusion
Using an optimized GraSE sequence CMR allows for robust, reliable, fast myocardial T2 mapping and quantitative tissue characterization. Clinically, the GraSE-based T2-mapping has the potential to complement qualitative CMR in patients with acute myocardial injuries.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12968-015-0127-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12968-015-0127-z
PMCID: PMC4326516  PMID: 25885268
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; T2 mapping; Phantom study; Quantitative MRI; Gradient-spin-echo imaging
4.  MRI-Based Multiparametric Systolic Strain Analysis and Regional Contractile Heterogeneity in Patients With Dilated Cardiomyopathy 
Background
Myocardial systolic strain patterns in dilated cardiomyopathy are felt to be nonhomogeneous but have not been investigated with MRI-based multiparametric systolic strain analysis. Left ventricular (LV) three-dimensional (3D) multiparametric systolic strain analysis is sensitive to regional contractility and is generated from sequential magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of tissue tagging gridline point displacements.
Methods
Sixty normal human volunteers underwent MRI-based 3D systolic strain analysis to supply normal average and standard deviation values for each of three strain parameters at each of 15,300 individual LV grid points. Patient-specific multiparametric systolic strain data from each dilated cardiomyopathy patient (n = 10) were then subjected to a point-by-point comparison (n = 15,300 LV points) to the normal strain database for 3 individual strain components (45,900 database comparisons per patient). The resulting composite multiparametric Z-score values (standard deviation from normal average) were color contour mapped over patient-specific 3D LV geometry to detect the normalized regional contractile patterns associated with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Results
Average multiparametric strain Z-score values varied significantly according to ventricular level (p = 0.001) and region (p = 0.003). Apical Z-scores were significantly less than those in both the base (p = 0.037) and mid-ventricle (p = 0.002), while anterolateral wall Z-scores were less than those in the anteroseptal (p = 0.023) and posteroseptal walls (p = 0.028).
Conclusions
MRI-based multiparametric systolic strain analysis suggests that myocardial systolic strain in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy has a heterogeneous regional distribution and on average falls almost two standard deviations from normal.
doi:10.1016/j.healun.2008.12.018
PMCID: PMC2696353  PMID: 19332267
5.  Cardiovascular magnetic resonance of cardiomyopathy in limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2B and 2I 
Background
Limb girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMD) are inclusive of 7 autosomal dominant and 14 autosomal recessive disorders featuring progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. Studies of cardiac function have not yet been well-defined in deficiencies of dysferlin (LGMD2B) and fukutin related protein (LGMD2I). In this study of patients with these two forms of limb girdle muscular dystrophy, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) was used to more specifically define markers of cardiomyopathy including systolic dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis, and diastolic dysfunction.
Methods
Consecutive patients with genetically-proven LGMD types 2I (n = 7) and 2B (n = 9) and 8 control subjects were enrolled. All subjects underwent cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) on a standard 1.5 Tesla clinical scanner with cine imaging for left ventricular (LV) volume and ejection fraction (EF) measurement, vector velocity analysis of cine data to calculate myocardial strain, and late post-gadolinium enhancement imaging (LGE) to assess for myocardial fibrosis.
Results
Sixteen LGMD patients (7 LGMD2I, 9 LGMD2B), and 8 control subjects completed CMR. All but one patient had normal LV size and systolic function; one (type 2I) had severe dilated cardiomyopathy. Of 15 LGMD patients with normal systolic function, LGE imaging revealed focal myocardial fibrosis in 7 (47%). Peak systolic circumferential strain rates were similar in patients vs. controls: εendo was -23.8 ± 8.5vs. -23.9 ± 4.2%, εepi was -11.5 ± 1.7% vs. -10.1 ± 4.2% (p = NS for all). Five of 7 LGE-positive patients had grade I diastolic dysfunction [2I (n = 2), 2B (n = 3)]. that was not present in any LGE-negative patients or controls.
Conclusions
LGMD2I and LGMD2B generally result in mild structural and functional cardiac abnormalities, though severe dilated cardiomyopathy may occur. Long-term studies are warranted to evaluate the prognostic significance of subclinical fibrosis detected by CMR in these patients.
doi:10.1186/1532-429X-13-39
PMCID: PMC3170213  PMID: 21816046
6.  Cardiovascular magnetic resonance of myocardial edema using a short inversion time inversion recovery (STIR) black-blood technique: Diagnostic accuracy of visual and semi-quantitative assessment 
Background
The short inversion time inversion recovery (STIR) black-blood technique has been used to visualize myocardial edema, and thus to differentiate acute from chronic myocardial lesions. However, some cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) groups have reported variable image quality, and hence the diagnostic value of STIR in routine clinical practice has been put into question. The aim of our study was to analyze image quality and diagnostic performance of STIR using a set of pulse sequence parameters dedicated to edema detection, and to discuss possible factors that influence image quality. We hypothesized that STIR imaging is an accurate and robust way of detecting myocardial edema in non-selected patients with acute myocardial infarction.
Methods
Forty-six consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction underwent CMR (day 4.5, +/- 1.6) including STIR for the assessment of myocardial edema and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) for quantification of myocardial necrosis. Thirty of these patients underwent a follow-up CMR at approximately six months (195 +/- 39 days). Both STIR and LGE images were evaluated separately on a segmental basis for image quality as well as for presence and extent of myocardial hyper-intensity, with both visual and semi-quantitative (threshold-based) analysis. LGE was used as a reference standard for localization and extent of myocardial necrosis (acute) or scar (chronic).
Results
Image quality of STIR images was rated as diagnostic in 99.5% of cases. At the acute stage, the sensitivity and specificity of STIR to detect infarcted segments on visual assessment was 95% and 78% respectively, and on semi-quantitative assessment was 99% and 83%, respectively. STIR differentiated acutely from chronically infarcted segments with a sensitivity of 95% by both methods and with a specificity of 99% by visual assessment and 97% by semi-quantitative assessment. The extent of hyper-intense areas on acute STIR images was 85% larger than those on LGE images, with a larger myocardial salvage index in reperfused than in non-reperfused infarcts (p = 0.035).
Conclusions
STIR with appropriate pulse sequence settings is accurate in detecting acute myocardial infarction (MI) and distinguishing acute from chronic MI with both visual and semi-quantitative analysis. Due to its unique technical characteristics, STIR should be regarded as an edema-weighted rather than a purely T2-weighted technique.
doi:10.1186/1532-429X-14-22
PMCID: PMC3350411  PMID: 22455461
7.  Pattern and prognostic value of cardiac involvement in patients with late-onset pompe disease: a comprehensive cardiovascular magnetic resonance approach 
Background
Pompe disease is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by deficiency of the lysosomal α–1,4-glucosidase leading to accumulation of glycogen in target tissues with progressive organ failure. While the early infantile-onset form is characterized by early severe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with cardiac and respiratory failure, clinically relevant cardiomyopathy seems to be uncommon in patients with late-onset Pompe disease, and the prevalence and nature of myocardial abnormalities are still to be clarified.
Methods
Seventeen patients with genetically proven late-onset Pompe disease (50 ± 18 years, 11 male) and 18 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (44 ± 10 year, 12 male) underwent comprehensive cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) including conventional and advanced techniques: cine and feature tracking-based strain imaging for depiction of (even subtle) systolic LV dysfunction as well as late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and myocardial extracellular volume fraction (ECV) quantification for focal and diffuse fibrosis detection.
Results
All patients had normal left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) volumes and normal LV and RV ejection fraction. In comparison to healthy controls, neither conventional cine nor advanced feature-tracking based-strain imaging could depict any (subclinical) myocardial systolic dysfunction. Three (18%) of the patients had non-ischemic LGE in the basal inferolateral wall and 21% demonstrated elevated global ECV values suggestive of interstitial myocardial fibrosis. Non-specific abnormalities such as left atrial (LA) dilatation were present in two patients, while LV hypertrophy was seen only in one. Two of the three LGE-positive patients were also hypertensive and demonstrated high global ECV values (>30%) in addition to dilated LA. After a median follow-up of 25 (11–29) months, only one cardiovascular event occurred: one of the LGE-positive patients with a high cardiovascular risk profile suffered an acute coronary syndrome.
Conclusion
In contrast to the early infantile-onset form of Pompe disease, mild and rather non-specific cardiac abnormalities can be detected by CMR only in a small proportion of patients with late-onset Pompe disease. The observed structural abnormalities seem to result from an interplay between the storage disease and other comorbidities and they did not affect short-term to mid-term prognosis in adult Pompe patients.
doi:10.1186/s12968-016-0311-9
PMCID: PMC5146906  PMID: 27931223
Pompe disease; Cardiac disease; Cardiomyopathy; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Late gadolinium enhancement; Feature tracking; Mapping
8.  Variability and homogeneity of cardiovascular magnetic resonance myocardial T2-mapping in volunteers compared to patients with edema 
Background
The aim of the study was to test the reproducibility and variability of myocardial T2 mapping in relation to sequence type and spatial orientation in a large group of healthy volunteers. For control T2 mapping was also applied in patients with true edema. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) T2-mapping has potential for the detection and quantification of myocardial edema. Clinical experience is limited so far. The variability and potential pitfalls in broad application are unknown.
Methods
Healthy volunteers (n = 73, 35 ± 13 years) and patients with edema (n = 28, 55 ± 17 years) underwent CMR at 1.5 T. Steady state free precession (SSFP) cine loops and T2-weighted spin echo images were obtained. In patients, additionally late gadolinium enhancement images were acquired. We obtained T2 maps in midventricular short axis (SAX) and four-chamber view (4CV) based on images with T2 preparation times of 0, 24, 55 ms and compared fast low angle shot (FLASH) and SSFP readout. 10 volunteers were scanned twice on separate days. Two observers analysed segmental and global T2 per slice.
Results
In volunteers global myocardial T2 systematically differed depending on image orientation and sequence (FLASH 52 ± 5 vs. SSFP 55 ± 5 ms in SAX and 57 ± 6 vs. 59 ± 6 ms in 4CV; p < 0.0001 for both). Anteroseptal and apical segments had higher T2 than inferior and basal segments (SAX: 59 ± 6 vs. 48 ± 5 ms for FLASH and 59 ± 7 vs. 52 ± 4 ms for SSFP; p < 0.0001 for both). 14 volunteers had segments with T2 ≥ 70 ms. Mean intraobserver variability was 1.07 ± 1.03 ms (r = 0.94); interobserver variability was 1.6 ± 1.5 ms (r = 0.87). The coefficient of variation for repeated scans was 7.6% for SAX and 6.6% for 4CV. Mapping revealed focally increased T2 (73 ± 9 vs. 51 ± 3 ms in remote myocardium; p < 0.0001) in all patients with edema.
Conclusions
Myocardial T2 mapping is technically feasible and highly reproducible. It can detect focal edema und differentiate it from normal myocardium. Increased T2 was found in some volunteers most likely due to partial volume and residual motion.
doi:10.1186/1532-429X-15-27
PMCID: PMC3627620  PMID: 23537111
9.  Focal myocardial fibrosis assessed by late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance in children and adolescents with dilated cardiomyopathy 
Background
Different patterns of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) including mid-wall fibrosis using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) have been reported in adult patients presenting with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In these studies, LGE was associated with pronounced LV remodelling and predicted adverse cardiac outcomes. Accordingly, the purpose of our study was to determine the presence and patterns of LGE in children and adolescents with DCM.
Methods
Patients <18 years of age presenting with severe congestive heart failure who were admitted for evaluation of heart transplantation at our centre underwent CMR examination which consisted of ventricular functional analysis and assessment of LGE for detection of myocardial fibrosis. Ischemic DCM was excluded by coronary angiography, and right ventricular endomyocardial biopsies ruled out acute myocarditis.
Results
Thirty-one patients (mean age 2.1 ± 4.2 years) with severe LV dilatation (mean indexed LVEDV 136 ± 48 ml/m2) and LV dysfunction (mean LV-EF 23 ± 8%) were examined. LGE was detected in 5 of the 31 patients (16%) appearing in various patterns characterized as mid-wall (n = 1), focal patchy (n = 1), RV insertion site (n = 1) and transmural (n = 2). Based on histopathological analysis, 4 of the 5 LGE positive patients had lymphocytic myocarditis, whereas one patient was diagnosed with idiopathic DCM.
Conclusions
In children and adolescents with DCM, focal histologically proven myocardial fibrosis is rarely detected by LGE CMR despite marked LV dilatation and severely depressed LV function. LGE occurred in various patterns and mostly in patients with inflammatory cardiomyopathy. It remains unclear whether myocardial fibrosis in childhood DCM reflects different endogenous repair mechanisms that enable favourable reverse remodelling. Larger trials are needed to assess the prognostic implications of LGE in childhood DCM.
doi:10.1186/s12968-015-0142-0
PMCID: PMC4432888  PMID: 25976093
Childhood dilated cardiomyopathy; Myocardial fibrosis; Late gadolinium enhancement; Reverse ventricular remodelling
10.  Mechanistic Insights and Characterization of Sickle Cell Disease Associated Cardiomyopathy 
Background
Cardiovascular disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in sickle cell disease (SCD). We sought to characterize sickle cell cardiomyopathy using multi-modality non-invasive cardiovascular testing and identify potential causative mechanisms.
Methods and Results
Stable adults with SCD (n=38) and healthy controls (n=13) prospectively underwent same day multi-parametric cardiovascular magnetic resonance (cine, T2* iron, vasodilator first pass myocardial perfusion, and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging), transthoracic echocardiography, and applanation tonometry. Compared to controls, patients with SCD had severe dilation of the left ventricle (124±27 vs 79±12 ml/m2), right ventricle (127±28 vs 83±14 ml/m2), left atrium (65±16 vs 41±9 ml/m2), and right atrium (78±17 vs 56±17 ml/m2), p<0.01 for all. SCD patients also had a 21% lower myocardial perfusion reserve index than control subjects (1.47±0.34 vs 1.87±0.37, p=0.034). A significant subset of SCD patients (25%) had evidence of LGE while only one patient had evidence of myocardial iron overload. Diastolic dysfunction was present in 26% of SCD patients compared to 8% in controls. Estimated filling pressures (E/e’, 9.3±2.7 vs 7.3±2.0, p=0.0288) was higher in SCD patients. Left ventricular dilation and the presence of LGE were inversely correlated to hepatic T2* times (i.e. hepatic iron overload due to frequent blood transfusions, p<0.05 for both); whereas, diastolic dysfunction and increased filling pressures were correlated to aortic stiffness (augmentation pressure and index, p<0.05 for all).
Conclusions
Sickle cell cardiomyopathy is characterized by 4-chamber dilation and in some patients myocardial fibrosis, abnormal perfusion reserve, diastolic dysfunction, and only very rarely myocardial iron overload. Left ventricular dilation and myocardial fibrosis are associated with increased blood transfusion requirements while left ventricular diastolic dysfunction is predominantly correlated with increased aortic stiffness.
doi:10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.113.001420
PMCID: PMC4326424  PMID: 24676783
sickle cell disease; diastolic dysfunction; cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging; cardiomyopathy; myocardial fibrosis; myocardial perfusion; aortic distensibility
11.  On myocardial siderosis and left ventricular dysfunction in hemochromatosis 
Background
Chronically increased intestinal iron uptake in genetic hemochromatosis (HC) may cause organ failure. Whilst iron loading from blood transfusions may cause dilated cardiomyopathy in conditions such as thalassemia, the in-vivo prevalence of myocardial siderosis in HC is unclear, and its relation to left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is controversial. Most previous data on myocardial siderosis in HC has come from post-mortem studies.
Methods
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) was performed at first presentation of 41 HC patients (58.9 ±14.1 years) to measure myocardial iron and left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF).
Results
In 31 patients (genetically confirmed HFE-HC), the HFE genotype was C282Y/C282Y (n = 30) and C282Y/H63D (n = 1). Patients with other genotypes (n = 10) were labeled genetically unconfirmed HC. Of the genetically confirmed HFE-HC patients, 6 (19%) had myocardial siderosis (T2* <20 ms). Of these, 5 (83%) had heart failure and reduced LVEF which was correlated to the severity of siderosis (R2 0.57, p = 0.049). Two patients had follow-up scans and both had marked improvements in T2* and LVEF following venesection. Myocardial siderosis was present in 6/18 (33%) of patients with presenting ferritin ≥1000 μg/L at diagnosis but in 0/13 (0%) patients with ferritin <1000 μg/L (p = 0.028). Overall however, the relation between myocardial siderosis and ferritin was weak (R2 0.20, p = 0.011). In the 10 genetically unconfirmed HC patients, 1 patient had mild myocardial siderosis but normal EF. Of all 31 patients, 4 had low LVEF from other identifiable causes without myocardial siderosis.
Conclusion
Myocardial siderosis was present in 33% of newly presenting genetically confirmed HFE-HC patients with ferritin >1000 μg/L, and was the commonest cause of reduced LVEF. Heart failure due to myocardial siderosis was only found in these HFE-HC patients, and was reversible with venesection. Myocardial iron was normal in patients with other causes of LV dysfunction.
doi:10.1186/1532-429X-15-24
PMCID: PMC3621377  PMID: 23509881
Iron overload; Heart; Hemochromatosis; Cardiomyopathy; Heart failure; Magnetic resonance
12.  Value of cardiovascular MR in diagnosing left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy and in discriminating between other cardiomyopathies 
European Radiology  2012;22(12):2699-2709.
Objectives
To analyse the value of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR)-derived myocardial parameters to differentiate left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC) from other cardiomyopathies and controls.
Methods
We retrospectively analysed 12 patients with LVNC, 11 with dilated and 10 with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and compared them to 24 controls. LVNC patients had to fulfil standard echocardiographic criteria as well as additional clinical and imaging criteria. Cine steady-state free precession and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging was performed. The total LV myocardial mass index (LV-MMI), compacted (LV-MMIcompacted), non-compacted (LV-MMInon-compacted), percentage LV-MMnon-compacted, ventricular volumes and function were calculated. Data were compared using analysis of variance and Dunnett’s test. Additionally, semi-quantitative segmental analyses of the occurrence of increased trabeculation were performed.
Results
Total LV-MMInon-compacted and percentage LV-MMnon-compacted were discriminators between patients with LVCN, healthy controls and those with other cardiomyopathies with cut-offs of 15 g/m2 and 25 %, respectively. Furthermore, trabeculation in basal segments and a ratio of non-compacted/compacted myocardium of ≥3:1 were criteria for LVNC. A combination of these criteria provided sensitivities and specificities of up to 100 %. None of the LVNC patients demonstrated LGE.
Conclusions
Absolute CMR quantification of the LV-MMInon-compacted or the percentage LV-MMnon-compacted and increased trabeculation in basal segments allows one to reliably diagnose LVNC and to differentiate it from other cardiomyopathies.
Key Points
• Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging can reliably diagnose left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy.
• Differentiation of LVNC from other cardiomyopathies and normal hearts is possible.
• The best diagnostic performance can be achieved if combined MRI criteria for the diagnosis are used.
doi:10.1007/s00330-012-2554-7
PMCID: PMC3486997  PMID: 22772366
Isolated non-compaction of the ventricular myocardium; Magnetic resonance imaging; Ventricular dysfunction, left; Cardiomyopathies
13.  Myocardial late gadolinium enhancement is associated with clinical presentation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy carriers 
Background
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disease that occurs in males leading to immobility and death in early adulthood. Female carriers of DMD are generally asymptomatic, yet frequently develop dilated cardiomyopathy. This study aims to detect early cardiac manifestation in DMD using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and to evaluate its association with clinical symptoms.
Methods
Clinical assessment of DMD carriers included six minutes walk tests (6MWT), blood analysis, electrocardiography, echocardiography, and CMR using FLASH sequences to detect late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). T1-mapping using the Modified Look-Locker Inversion recovery (MOLLI) sequence was performed quantify extracellular volume (ECV).
Results
Of 20 carriers (age 39.47 ± 12.96 years) 17 (89.5 %) were clinically asymptomatic. ECV was mildly elevated (29.79 ± 2.92 %) and LGE was detected in nine cases (45 %). LGE positive carriers had lower left ventricular ejection fraction in CMR (64.36 ± 5.78 vs. 56.67 ± 6.89 %, p = 0.014), higher bothCK (629.89 ± 317.48 vs. 256.18 ± 109.10 U/l, p = 0.002) and CK-MB (22.13 ± 5.25 vs. 12.11 ± 2.21 U/l, p = 0.001), as well as shorter walking distances during the 6MWT (432.44 ± 96.72 vs. 514.91 ± 66.80 m, p = 0.037). 90.9 % of subjects without LGE had normal pro-BNP, whereas in 66.7 % of those presenting LGE pro-BNP was elevated (p = 0.027). All individuals without LGE were in the NYHA class I, whereas all those in NYHA classes II and III showed positive for LGE (p = 0.066).
Conclusions
Myocardial involvement shown as LGE in CMR occurs in a substantial number of DMD carriers; it is associated with clinical and morphometric signs of incipient heart failure. LGE is thus a sensitive parameter for the early diagnosis of cardiomyopathy in DMD carriers.
Trial registration
Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01712152 Trial registration: October 19, 2012.
First patient enrolled: September 27, 2012 (retrospectively registered).
doi:10.1186/s12968-016-0281-y
PMCID: PMC5034448  PMID: 27660108
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; T1-mapping; Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Cardiomyopathy
14.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Non-ischemic Cardiomyopathies: A Pictorial Essay 
Non-ischemic cardiomyopathies are defined as either primary or secondary diseases of the myocardium resulting in cardiac dysfunction. While primary cardiomyopathies are confined to the heart and can be genetic or acquired, secondary cardiomyopathies show involvement of the heart as a manifestation of an underlying systemic disease including metabolic, inflammatory, granulomatous, infectious, or autoimmune entities. Non-ischemic cardiomyopathies are currently classified as hypertrophic, dilated, restrictive, or unclassifiable, including left ventricular non-compaction. Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMRI) not only has the capability to assess cardiac morphology and function, but also the ability to detect edema, hemorrhage, fibrosis, and intramyocardial deposits, providing a valuable imaging tool in the characterization of non-ischemic cardiomyopathies. This pictorial essay shows some of the most important non-ischemic cardiomyopathies with an emphasis on magnetic resonance imaging features.
doi:10.4103/2156-7514.159564
PMCID: PMC4498316  PMID: 26199786
Cardiac; delayed gadolinium enhancement; non-ischemic cardiomyopathies; steady-state free precession
15.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability 
Executive Summary
In July 2009, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding different cardiac imaging modalities to ensure that appropriate technologies are accessed by patients undergoing viability assessment. This project came about when the Health Services Branch at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care asked MAS to provide an evidentiary platform on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of noninvasive cardiac imaging modalities.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, MAS identified five key non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies that can be used for the assessment of myocardial viability: positron emission tomography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, dobutamine echocardiography, and dobutamine echocardiography with contrast, and single photon emission computed tomography.
A 2005 review conducted by MAS determined that positron emission tomography was more sensitivity than dobutamine echocardiography and single photon emission tomography and dominated the other imaging modalities from a cost-effective standpoint. However, there was inadequate evidence to compare positron emission tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Thus, this report focuses on this comparison only. For both technologies, an economic analysis was also completed.
A summary decision analytic model was then developed to encapsulate the data from each of these reports (available on the OHTAC and MAS website).
The Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: www.health.gov.on.ca/mas or at www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html
Positron Emission Tomography for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Objective
The objective of this analysis is to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI) for the assessment of myocardial viability. To evaluate the effectiveness of cardiac MRI viability imaging, the following outcomes were examined: the diagnostic accuracy in predicting functional recovery and the impact of cardiac MRI viability imaging on prognosis (mortality and other patient outcomes).
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction and Heart Failure
Heart failure is a complex syndrome characterized by the heart’s inability to maintain adequate blood circulation through the body leading to multiorgan abnormalities and, eventually, death. Patients with heart failure experience poor functional capacity, decreased quality of life, and increased risk of morbidity and mortality.
In 2005, more than 71,000 Canadians died from cardiovascular disease, of which, 54% were due to ischemic heart disease. Left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction due to coronary artery disease (CAD) 1 is the primary cause of heart failure accounting for more than 70% of cases. The prevalence of heart failure was estimated at one percent of the Canadian population in 1989. Since then, the increase in the older population has undoubtedly resulted in a substantial increase in cases. Heart failure is associated with a poor prognosis: one-year mortality rates were 32.9% and 31.1% for men and women, respectively in Ontario between 1996 and 1997.
Treatment Options
In general, there are three options for the treatment of heart failure: medical treatment, heart transplantation, and revascularization for those with CAD as the underlying cause. Concerning medical treatment, despite recent advances, mortality remains high among treated patients, while, heart transplantation is affected by the limited availability of donor hearts and consequently has long waiting lists. The third option, revascularization, is used to restore the flow of blood to the heart via coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or, in some cases, through minimally invasive percutaneous coronary interventions (balloon angioplasty and stenting). Both methods, however, are associated with important perioperative risks including mortality, so it is essential to properly select patients for this procedure.
Myocardial Viability
Left ventricular dysfunction may be permanent, due to the formation of myocardial scar, or it may be reversible after revascularization. Reversible LV dysfunction occurs when the myocardium is viable but dysfunctional (reduced contractility). Since only patients with dysfunctional but viable myocardium benefit from revascularization, the identification and quantification of the extent of myocardial viability is an important part of the work-up of patients with heart failure when determining the most appropriate treatment path. Various non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities can be used to assess patients in whom determination of viability is an important clinical issue, specifically:
dobutamine echocardiography (echo),
stress echo with contrast,
SPECT using either technetium or thallium,
cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI), and
positron emission tomography (PET).
Dobutamine Echocardiography
Stress echocardiography can be used to detect viable myocardium. During the infusion of low dose dobutamine (5 – 10 µg/kg/min), an improvement of contractility in hypokinetic and akentic segments is indicative of the presence of viable myocardium. Alternatively, a low-high dose dobutamine protocol can be used in which a biphasic response characterized by improved contractile function during the low-dose infusion followed by a deterioration in contractility due to stress induced ischemia during the high dose dobutamine infusion (dobutamine dose up to 40 ug/kg/min) represents viable tissue. Newer techniques including echocardiography using contrast agents, harmonic imaging, and power doppler imaging may help to improve the diagnostic accuracy of echocardiographic assessment of myocardial viability.
Stress Echocardiography with Contrast
Intravenous contrast agents, which are high molecular weight inert gas microbubbles that act like red blood cells in the vascular space, can be used during echocardiography to assess myocardial viability. These agents allow for the assessment of myocardial blood flow (perfusion) and contractile function (as described above), as well as the simultaneous assessment of perfusion to make it possible to distinguish between stunned and hibernating myocardium.
SPECT
SPECT can be performed using thallium-201 (Tl-201), a potassium analogue, or technetium-99 m labelled tracers. When Tl-201 is injected intravenously into a patient, it is taken up by the myocardial cells through regional perfusion, and Tl-201 is retained in the cell due to sodium/potassium ATPase pumps in the myocyte membrane. The stress-redistribution-reinjection protocol involves three sets of images. The first two image sets (taken immediately after stress and then three to four hours after stress) identify perfusion defects that may represent scar tissue or viable tissue that is severely hypoperfused. The third set of images is taken a few minutes after the re-injection of Tl-201 and after the second set of images is completed. These re-injection images identify viable tissue if the defects exhibit significant fill-in (> 10% increase in tracer uptake) on the re-injection images.
The other common Tl-201 viability imaging protocol, rest-redistribution, involves SPECT imaging performed at rest five minutes after Tl-201 is injected and again three to four hours later. Viable tissue is identified if the delayed images exhibit significant fill-in of defects identified in the initial scans (> 10% increase in uptake) or if defects are fixed but the tracer activity is greater than 50%.
There are two technetium-99 m tracers: sestamibi (MIBI) and tetrofosmin. The uptake and retention of these tracers is dependent on regional perfusion and the integrity of cellular membranes. Viability is assessed using one set of images at rest and is defined by segments with tracer activity greater than 50%.
Cardiac Positron Emission Tomography
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine technique used to image tissues based on the distinct ways in which normal and abnormal tissues metabolize positron-emitting radionuclides. Radionuclides are radioactive analogs of common physiological substrates such as sugars, amino acids, and free fatty acids that are used by the body. The only licensed radionuclide used in PET imaging for viability assessment is F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG).
During a PET scan, the radionuclides are injected into the body and as they decay, they emit positively charged particles (positrons) that travel several millimetres into tissue and collide with orbiting electrons. This collision results in annihilation where the combined mass of the positron and electron is converted into energy in the form of two 511 keV gamma rays, which are then emitted in opposite directions (180 degrees) and captured by an external array of detector elements in the PET gantry. Computer software is then used to convert the radiation emission into images. The system is set up so that it only detects coincident gamma rays that arrive at the detectors within a predefined temporal window, while single photons arriving without a pair or outside the temporal window do not active the detector. This allows for increased spatial and contrast resolution.
Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI) is a non-invasive, x-ray free technique that uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to produce detailed images of the structure and function of the heart. Two types of cardiac MRI are used to assess myocardial viability: dobutamine stress magnetic resonance imaging (DSMR) and delayed contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI (DE-MRI). DE-MRI, the most commonly used technique in Ontario, uses gadolinium-based contrast agents to define the transmural extent of scar, which can be visualized based on the intensity of the image. Hyper-enhanced regions correspond to irreversibly damaged myocardium. As the extent of hyper-enhancement increases, the amount of scar increases, so there is a lower the likelihood of functional recovery.
Evidence-Based Analysis
Research Questions
What is the diagnostic accuracy of cardiac MRI for detecting myocardial viability?
What is the impact of cardiac MRI viability imaging on prognosis (mortality and other clinical outcomes)?
How does cardiac MRI compare with cardiac PET imaging for the assessment of myocardial viability?
What is the contribution of cardiac MRI viability imaging to treatment decision making?
Is cardiac MRI cost-effective compared with other cardiac imaging modalities for the assessment of myocardial viability?
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on October 9, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2005 until October 9, 2009. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria full-text articles were obtained. In addition, published systematic reviews and health technology assessments were reviewed for relevant studies published before 2005. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria
English language full-reports
Published between January 1, 2005 and October 9, 2009
Health technology assessments, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and observational studies
Patients with chronic, known coronary artery disease (CAD)
Used contrast-enhanced MRI
Assessment of functional recovery ≥ 3 months after revascularization
Exclusion Criteria
< 20 patients
< 18 years of age
Patients with non-ischemic heart disease
Studies conducted exclusively in patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI)
Studies where TP, TN, FP, FN cannot be determined
Outcomes of Interest
Sensitivity
Specificity
Positive predictive value (PPV)
Negative Predictive value (NPV)
Positive likelihood ratio
Negative likelihood ratio
Diagnostic accuracy
Mortality rate (for prognostic studies)
Adverse events
Summary of Findings
Based on the available very low quality evidence, MRI is a useful imaging modality for the detection of viable myocardium. The pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity for the prediction of regional functional recovery as a surrogate for viable myocardium are 84.5% (95% CI: 77.5% – 91.6%) and 71.0% (95% CI: 68.8% – 79.2%), respectively.
Subgroup analysis demonstrated a statistically significant difference in the sensitivity of MRI to assess myocardial viability for studies using ≤25% hyperenhancement as a viability threshold versus studies using ≤50% hyperenhancement as their viability threshold [78.7 (95% CI: 69.1% - 88.2%) and 96.2 (95% CI: 91.8 – 100.6); p=0.0044 respectively]. Marked differences in specificity were observed [73.6 (95% CI: 62.6% - 84.6%) and 47.2 (95% CI: 22.2 – 72.3); p=0.2384 respectively]; however, these findings were not statistically significant.
There were no statistically significant differences between the sensitivities or specificities for any other subgroups including mean preoperative LVEF, imaging method for function recovery assessment, and length of follow-up.
There was no evidence available to determine whether patients with viable myocardium who are revascularized have a lower mortality rate than those who are treated with medical therapy.
PMCID: PMC3426228  PMID: 23074392
16.  Diffuse myocardial fibrosis in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be identified by cardiovascular magnetic resonance, and is associated with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction 
Background
The presence of myocardial fibrosis is associated with worse clinical outcomes in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) with late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) sequences can detect regional, but not diffuse myocardial fibrosis. Post-contrast T1 mapping is an emerging CMR technique that may enable the non-invasive evaluation of diffuse myocardial fibrosis in HCM. The purpose of this study was to non-invasively detect and quantify diffuse myocardial fibrosis in HCM with CMR and examine its relationship to diastolic performance.
Methods
We performed CMR on 76 patients - 51 with asymmetric septal hypertrophy due to HCM and 25 healthy controls. Left ventricular (LV) morphology, function and distribution of regional myocardial fibrosis were evaluated with cine imaging and LGE. A CMR T1 mapping sequence determined the post-contrast myocardial T1 time as an index of diffuse myocardial fibrosis. Diastolic function was assessed by transthoracic echocardiography.
Results
Regional myocardial fibrosis was observed in 84% of the HCM group. Post-contrast myocardial T1 time was significantly shorter in patients with HCM compared to controls, consistent with diffuse myocardial fibrosis (498 ± 80 ms vs. 561 ± 47 ms, p < 0.001). In HCM patients, post-contrast myocardial T1 time correlated with mean E/e’ (r = −0.48, p < 0.001).
Conclusions
Patients with HCM have shorter post-contrast myocardial T1 times, consistent with diffuse myocardial fibrosis, which correlate with estimated LV filling pressure, suggesting a mechanistic link between diffuse myocardial fibrosis and abnormal diastolic function in HCM.
doi:10.1186/1532-429X-14-76
PMCID: PMC3502601  PMID: 23107451
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Magnetic resonance imaging; Myocardial fibrosis; T1 mapping
17.  Contrast-free detection of myocardial fibrosis in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients with diffusion-weighted cardiovascular magnetic resonance 
Backgrounds
Previous studies have shown that diffusion-weighted cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DW-CMR) is highly sensitive to replacement fibrosis of chronic myocardial infarction. Despite this sensitivity to myocardial infarction, DW-CMR has not been established as a method to detect diffuse myocardial fibrosis. We propose the application of a recently developed DW-CMR technique to detect diffuse myocardial fibrosis in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients and compare its performance with established CMR techniques.
Methods
HCM patients (N = 23) were recruited and scanned with the following protocol: standard morphological localizers, DW-CMR, extracellular volume (ECV) CMR, and late gadolinium enhanced (LGE) imaging for reference. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and ECV maps were segmented into 6 American Heart Association (AHA) segments. Positive regions for myocardial fibrosis were defined as: ADC > 2.0 μm2/ms and ECV > 30 %. Fibrotic and non-fibrotic mean ADC and ECV values were compared as well as ADC-derived and ECV-derived fibrosis burden. In addition, fibrosis regional detection was compared between ADC and ECV calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) using ECV as the gold-standard reference.
Results
ADC (2.4 ± 0.2 μm2/ms) of fibrotic regions (ADC > 2.0 μm2/ms) was significantly (p < 0.01) higher than ADC (1.5 ± 0.2 μm2/ms) of non-fibrotic regions. Similarly, ECV (35 ± 4 %) of fibrotic regions (ECV > 30 %) was significantly (p < 0.01) higher than ECV (26 ± 2 %) of non-fibrotic regions. In fibrotic regions defined by ECV, ADC (2.2 ± 0.3 μm2/ms) was again significantly (p < 0.05) higher than ADC (1.6 ± 0.3 μm2/ms) of non-fibrotic regions. In fibrotic regions defined by ADC criterion, ECV (34 ± 5 %) was significantly (p < 0.01) higher than ECV (28 ± 3 %) in non-fibrotic regions. ADC-derived and ECV-derived fibrosis burdens were in substantial agreement (intra-class correlation = 0.83). Regional detection between ADC and ECV of diffuse fibrosis yielded substantial agreement (κ = 0.66) with high sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and accuracy (0.80, 0.85, 0.81, 0.85, and 0.83, respectively).
Conclusion
DW-CMR is sensitive to diffuse myocardial fibrosis and is capable of characterizing the extent of fibrosis in HCM patients.
doi:10.1186/s12968-015-0214-1
PMCID: PMC4668676  PMID: 26631061
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; HCM; Diffusion-weighting; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Extracellular volume mapping; ECV
18.  Magnetic resonance imaging and multi-detector computed tomography assessment of extracellular compartment in ischemic and non-ischemic myocardial pathologies 
World Journal of Cardiology  2014;6(11):1192-1208.
Myocardial pathologies are major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Early detection of loss of cellular integrity and expansion in extracellular volume (ECV) in myocardium is critical to initiate effective treatment. The three compartments in healthy myocardium are: intravascular (approximately 10% of tissue volume), interstitium (approximately 15%) and intracellular (approximately 75%). Myocardial cells, fibroblasts and vascular endothelial/smooth muscle cells represent intracellular compartment and the main proteins in the interstitium are types I/III collagens. Microscopic studies have shown that expansion of ECV is an important feature of diffuse physiologic fibrosis (e.g., aging and obesity) and pathologic fibrosis [heart failure, aortic valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy, amyloidosis, congenital heart disease, aortic stenosis, restrictive cardiomyopathy (hypereosinophilic and idiopathic types), arrythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia and hypertension]. This review addresses recent advances in measuring of ECV in ischemic and non-ischemic myocardial pathologies. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has the ability to characterize tissue proton relaxation times (T1, T2, and T2*). Proton relaxation times reflect the physical and chemical environments of water protons in myocardium. Delayed contrast enhanced-MRI (DE-MRI) and multi-detector computed tomography (DE-MDCT) demonstrated hyper-enhanced infarct, hypo-enhanced microvascular obstruction zone and moderately enhanced peri-infarct zone, but are limited for visualizing diffuse fibrosis and patchy microinfarct despite the increase in ECV. ECV can be measured on equilibrium contrast enhanced MRI/MDCT and MRI longitudinal relaxation time mapping. Equilibrium contrast enhanced MRI/MDCT and MRI T1 mapping is currently used, but at a lower scale, as an alternative to invasive sub-endomyocardial biopsies to eliminate the need for anesthesia, coronary catheterization and possibility of tissue sampling error. Similar to delayed contrast enhancement, equilibrium contrast enhanced MRI/MDCT and T1 mapping is completely noninvasive and may play a specialized role in diagnosis of subclinical and other myocardial pathologies. DE-MRI and when T1-mapping demonstrated sub-epicardium, sub-endocardial and patchy mid-myocardial enhancement in myocarditis, Behcet’s disease and sarcoidosis, respectively. Furthermore, recent studies showed that the combined technique of cine, T2-weighted and DE-MRI technique has high diagnostic accuracy for detecting myocarditis. When the tomographic techniques are coupled with myocardial perfusion and left ventricular function they can provide valuable information on the progression of myocardial pathologies and effectiveness of new therapies.
doi:10.4330/wjc.v6.i11.1192
PMCID: PMC4244616  PMID: 25429331
Myocardial viability; Ischemic/non-ischemic heart diseases; Magnetic resonance imaging; Multi-detector computed tomography; Cellular compartments; Contrast media
19.  The emerging clinical role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging 
Starting as a research method little more than a decade ago, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging has rapidly evolved to become a powerful diagnostic tool used in routine clinical cardiology. The contrast in CMR images is generated from protons in different chemical environments and, therefore, enables high-resolution imaging and specific tissue characterization in vivo, without the use of potentially harmful ionizing radiation.
CMR imaging is used for the assessment of regional and global ventricular function, and to answer questions regarding anatomy. State-of-the-art CMR sequences allow for a wide range of tissue characterization approaches, including the identification and quantification of nonviable, edematous, inflamed, infiltrated or hypoperfused myocardium. These tissue changes are not only used to help identify the etiology of cardiomyopathies, but also allow for a better understanding of tissue pathology in vivo. CMR tissue characterization may also be used to stage a disease process; for example, elevated T2 signal is consistent with edema and helps differentiate acute from chronic myocardial injury, and the extent of myocardial fibrosis as imaged by contrast-enhanced CMR correlates with adverse patient outcome in ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathies.
The current role of CMR imaging in clinical cardiology is reviewed, including coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, nonischemic cardiomyopathies and valvular disease.
PMCID: PMC2903987  PMID: 20548977
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Clinical cardiology; Congenital heart disease; Diagnosis; Imaging
20.  Takotsubo-like syndrome triggered by fludrocortisone overdose for Addison’s disease: a case report 
Background
Reversible left ventricular dysfunction, also termed Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is rarely reported in Addison’s disease after initiation of hormone replacement therapy. The pathogenesis of this cardiomyopathy is unknown.
Case presentation
A 41-year-old white woman with a history of autoimmune Hashimoto thyroiditis diagnosed 3 years earlier and acute adrenal insufficiency diagnosed 3 weeks earlier presented with new onset of heart failure New York Heart Association class IV, which had started shortly after initiation of hormone replacement therapy with hydrocortisone 20 mg/day and fludrocortisone 0.3 mg/day. Nine days before admission she had collapsed because of dizziness and had a cerebral concussion and open fracture of her nasal bone, however, no further investigations were carried out at that time.
A physical examination revealed leg edema, tachycardia, tachypnea, bilateral basal crepitations, and blood pressure 110/70 mmHg. An electrocardiogram showed sinus tachycardia, low voltage, negative T-waves in V5 and V6 and a corrected QT interval of 590 ms. Echocardiography revealed a reduced left ventricular systolic function with an ejection fraction of 30 %, and septal, apical, and anterior wall akinesia. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging showed relative enhancement of gadolinium, indicating hyperemia and capillary leakage, and no myocardial scars. Because of the improvement in her cardiac function, lack of cardiovascular risk factors, and lack of signs for ischemia on magnetic resonance imaging, no coronary angiography was carried out. The results of sellar and renal magnetic resonance imaging were normal. Her troponin T was slightly elevated. Bisoprolol and ramipril were started. Her fludrocortisone dose was reduced to 0.05 mg/day. Her electrocardiogram and systolic function, documented by echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging, normalized within 6 months.
Conclusions
Although we could not exclude coronary artery disease by coronary angiography, her clinical course and instrumental findings suggest Takotsubo cardiomyopathy of the apical type. Fludrocortisone overdosage and increased myocardial vulnerability due to cortisol deficiency might be pathogenetic factors, whereas myocarditis is unlikely. When hormone replacement in patients with Addison’s disease is initiated, cardiac function should be monitored by electrocardiogram and echocardiography.
doi:10.1186/s13256-016-1074-5
PMCID: PMC5059987  PMID: 27729057
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy; Addison’s disease; Hashimoto thyroiditis; Case report
21.  Positron Emission Tomography for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability 
Executive Summary
In July 2009, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding different cardiac imaging modalities to ensure that appropriate technologies are accessed by patients undergoing viability assessment. This project came about when the Health Services Branch at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care asked MAS to provide an evidentiary platform on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, MAS identified five key non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies that can be used for the assessment of myocardial viability: positron emission tomography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, dobutamine echocardiography, and dobutamine echocardiography with contrast, and single photon emission computed tomography.
A 2005 review conducted by MAS determined that positron emission tomography was more sensitivity than dobutamine echocardiography and single photon emission tomography and dominated the other imaging modalities from a cost-effective standpoint. However, there was inadequate evidence to compare positron emission tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Thus, this report focuses on this comparison only. For both technologies, an economic analysis was also completed.
The Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: www.health.gov.on.ca/mas or at www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html
Positron Emission Tomography for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Objective
The objective of this analysis is to assess the effectiveness and safety of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging using F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) for the assessment of myocardial viability. To evaluate the effectiveness of FDG PET viability imaging, the following outcomes are examined:
the diagnostic accuracy of FDG PET for predicting functional recovery;
the impact of PET viability imaging on prognosis (mortality and other patient outcomes); and
the contribution of PET viability imaging to treatment decision making and subsequent patient outcomes.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction and Heart Failure
Heart failure is a complex syndrome characterized by the heart’s inability to maintain adequate blood circulation through the body leading to multiorgan abnormalities and, eventually, death. Patients with heart failure experience poor functional capacity, decreased quality of life, and increased risk of morbidity and mortality.
In 2005, more than 71,000 Canadians died from cardiovascular disease, of which, 54% were due to ischemic heart disease. Left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction due to coronary artery disease (CAD)1 is the primary cause of heart failure accounting for more than 70% of cases. The prevalence of heart failure was estimated at one percent of the Canadian population in 1989. Since then, the increase in the older population has undoubtedly resulted in a substantial increase in cases. Heart failure is associated with a poor prognosis: one-year mortality rates were 32.9% and 31.1% for men and women, respectively in Ontario between 1996 and 1997.
Treatment Options
In general, there are three options for the treatment of heart failure: medical treatment, heart transplantation, and revascularization for those with CAD as the underlying cause. Concerning medical treatment, despite recent advances, mortality remains high among treated patients, while, heart transplantation is affected by the limited availability of donor hearts and consequently has long waiting lists. The third option, revascularization, is used to restore the flow of blood to the heart via coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or through minimally invasive percutaneous coronary interventions (balloon angioplasty and stenting). Both methods, however, are associated with important perioperative risks including mortality, so it is essential to properly select patients for this procedure.
Myocardial Viability
Left ventricular dysfunction may be permanent if a myocardial scar is formed, or it may be reversible after revascularization. Reversible LV dysfunction occurs when the myocardium is viable but dysfunctional (reduced contractility). Since only patients with dysfunctional but viable myocardium benefit from revascularization, the identification and quantification of the extent of myocardial viability is an important part of the work-up of patients with heart failure when determining the most appropriate treatment path. Various non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities can be used to assess patients in whom determination of viability is an important clinical issue, specifically:
dobutamine echocardiography (echo),
stress echo with contrast,
SPECT using either technetium or thallium,
cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI), and
positron emission tomography (PET).
Dobutamine Echocardiography
Stress echocardiography can be used to detect viable myocardium. During the infusion of low dose dobutamine (5 – 10 μg/kg/min), an improvement of contractility in hypokinetic and akentic segments is indicative of the presence of viable myocardium. Alternatively, a low-high dose dobutamine protocol can be used in which a biphasic response characterized by improved contractile function during the low-dose infusion followed by a deterioration in contractility due to stress induced ischemia during the high dose dobutamine infusion (dobutamine dose up to 40 ug/kg/min) represents viable tissue. Newer techniques including echocardiography using contrast agents, harmonic imaging, and power doppler imaging may help to improve the diagnostic accuracy of echocardiographic assessment of myocardial viability.
Stress Echocardiography with Contrast
Intravenous contrast agents, which are high molecular weight inert gas microbubbles that act like red blood cells in the vascular space, can be used during echocardiography to assess myocardial viability. These agents allow for the assessment of myocardial blood flow (perfusion) and contractile function (as described above), as well as the simultaneous assessment of perfusion to make it possible to distinguish between stunned and hibernating myocardium.
SPECT
SPECT can be performed using thallium-201 (Tl-201), a potassium analogue, or technetium-99 m labelled tracers. When Tl-201 is injected intravenously into a patient, it is taken up by the myocardial cells through regional perfusion, and Tl-201 is retained in the cell due to sodium/potassium ATPase pumps in the myocyte membrane. The stress-redistribution-reinjection protocol involves three sets of images. The first two image sets (taken immediately after stress and then three to four hours after stress) identify perfusion defects that may represent scar tissue or viable tissue that is severely hypoperfused. The third set of images is taken a few minutes after the re-injection of Tl-201 and after the second set of images is completed. These re-injection images identify viable tissue if the defects exhibit significant fill-in (> 10% increase in tracer uptake) on the re-injection images.
The other common Tl-201 viability imaging protocol, rest-redistribution, involves SPECT imaging performed at rest five minutes after Tl-201 is injected and again three to four hours later. Viable tissue is identified if the delayed images exhibit significant fill-in of defects identified in the initial scans (> 10% increase in uptake) or if defects are fixed but the tracer activity is greater than 50%.
There are two technetium-99 m tracers: sestamibi (MIBI) and tetrofosmin. The uptake and retention of these tracers is dependent on regional perfusion and the integrity of cellular membranes. Viability is assessed using one set of images at rest and is defined by segments with tracer activity greater than 50%.
Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI) is a non-invasive, x-ray free technique that uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to produce detailed images of the structure and function of the heart. Two types of cardiac MRI are used to assess myocardial viability: dobutamine stress magnetic resonance imaging (DSMR) and delayed contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI (DE-MRI). DE-MRI, the most commonly used technique in Ontario, uses gadolinium-based contrast agents to define the transmural extent of scar, which can be visualized based on the intensity of the image. Hyper-enhanced regions correspond to irreversibly damaged myocardium. As the extent of hyper-enhancement increases, the amount of scar increases, so there is a lower the likelihood of functional recovery.
Cardiac Positron Emission Tomography
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine technique used to image tissues based on the distinct ways in which normal and abnormal tissues metabolize positron-emitting radionuclides. Radionuclides are radioactive analogs of common physiological substrates such as sugars, amino acids, and free fatty acids that are used by the body. The only licensed radionuclide used in PET imaging for viability assessment is F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG).
During a PET scan, the radionuclides are injected into the body and as they decay, they emit positively charged particles (positrons) that travel several millimetres into tissue and collide with orbiting electrons. This collision results in annihilation where the combined mass of the positron and electron is converted into energy in the form of two 511 keV gamma rays, which are then emitted in opposite directions (180 degrees) and captured by an external array of detector elements in the PET gantry. Computer software is then used to convert the radiation emission into images. The system is set up so that it only detects coincident gamma rays that arrive at the detectors within a predefined temporal window, while single photons arriving without a pair or outside the temporal window do not active the detector. This allows for increased spatial and contrast resolution.
Evidence-Based Analysis
Research Questions
What is the diagnostic accuracy of PET for detecting myocardial viability?
What is the prognostic value of PET viability imaging (mortality and other clinical outcomes)?
What is the contribution of PET viability imaging to treatment decision making?
What is the safety of PET viability imaging?
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on July 17, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2004 to July 16, 2009. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. In addition, published systematic reviews and health technology assessments were reviewed for relevant studies published before 2004. Reference lists of included studies were also examined for any additional relevant studies not already identified. The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria
Criteria applying to diagnostic accuracy studies, prognosis studies, and physician decision-making studies:
English language full-reports
Health technology assessments, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and observational studies
Patients with chronic, known CAD
PET imaging using FDG for the purpose of detecting viable myocardium
Criteria applying to diagnostic accuracy studies:
Assessment of functional recovery ≥3 months after revascularization
Raw data available to calculate sensitivity and specificity
Gold standard: prediction of global or regional functional recovery
Criteria applying to prognosis studies:
Mortality studies that compare revascularized patients with non-revascularized patients and patients with viable and non-viable myocardium
Exclusion Criteria
Criteria applying to diagnostic accuracy studies, prognosis studies, and physician decision-making studies:
PET perfusion imaging
< 20 patients
< 18 years of age
Patients with non-ischemic heart disease
Animal or phantom studies
Studies focusing on the technical aspects of PET
Studies conducted exclusively in patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI)
Duplicate publications
Criteria applying to diagnostic accuracy studies
Gold standard other than functional recovery (e.g., PET or cardiac MRI)
Assessment of functional recovery occurs before patients are revascularized
Outcomes of Interest
Diagnostic accuracy studies
Sensitivity and specificity
Positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV)
Positive and negative likelihood ratios
Diagnostic accuracy
Adverse events
Prognosis studies
Mortality rate
Functional status
Exercise capacity
Quality of Life
Influence on PET viability imaging on physician decision making
Statistical Methods
Pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity were calculated using a bivariate, binomial generalized linear mixed model. Statistical significance was defined by P values less than 0.05, where “false discovery rate” adjustments were made for multiple hypothesis testing. Using the bivariate model parameters, summary receiver operating characteristic (sROC) curves were produced. The area under the sROC curve was estimated by numerical integration with a cubic spline (default option). Finally, pooled estimates of mortality rates were calculated using weighted means.
Quality of Evidence
The quality of evidence assigned to individual diagnostic studies was determined using the QUADAS tool, a list of 14 questions that address internal and external validity, bias, and generalizibility of diagnostic accuracy studies. Each question is scored as “yes”, “no”, or “unclear”. The quality of the body of evidence was then assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
A total of 40 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review: one health technology assessment, two systematic reviews, 22 observational diagnostic accuracy studies, and 16 prognosis studies. The available PET viability imaging literature addresses two questions: 1) what is the diagnostic accuracy of PET imaging for the assessment; and 2) what is the prognostic value of PET viability imaging. The diagnostic accuracy studies use regional or global functional recovery as the reference standard to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the technology. While regional functional recovery was most commonly used in the studies, global functional recovery is more important clinically. Due to differences in reporting and thresholds, however, it was not possible to pool global functional recovery.
Functional recovery, however, is a surrogate reference standard for viability and consequently, the diagnostic accuracy results may underestimate the specificity of PET viability imaging. For example, regional functional recovery may take up to a year after revascularization depending on whether it is stunned or hibernating tissue, while many of the studies looked at regional functional recovery 3 to 6 months after revascularization. In addition, viable tissue may not recover function after revascularization due to graft patency or re-stenosis. Both issues may lead to false positives and underestimate specificity. Given these limitations, the prognostic value of PET viability imaging provides the most direct and clinically useful information. This body of literature provides evidence on the comparative effectiveness of revascularization and medical therapy in patients with viable myocardium and patients without viable myocardium. In addition, the literature compares the impact of PET-guided treatment decision making with SPECT-guided or standard care treatment decision making on survival and cardiac events (including cardiac mortality, MI, hospital stays, unintended revascularization, etc).
The main findings from the diagnostic accuracy and prognosis evidence are:
Based on the available very low quality evidence, PET is a useful imaging modality for the detection of viable myocardium. The pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity for the prediction of regional functional recovery as a surrogate for viable myocardium are 91.5% (95% CI, 88.2% – 94.9%) and 67.8% (95% CI, 55.8% – 79.7%), respectively.
Based the available very low quality of evidence, an indirect comparison of pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity showed no statistically significant difference in the diagnostic accuracy of PET viability imaging for regional functional recovery using perfusion/metabolism mismatch with FDG PET plus either a PET or SPECT perfusion tracer compared with metabolism imaging with FDG PET alone.
FDG PET + PET perfusion metabolism mismatch: sensitivity, 89.9% (83.5% – 96.4%); specificity, 78.3% (66.3% – 90.2%);
FDG PET + SPECT perfusion metabolism mismatch: sensitivity, 87.2% (78.0% – 96.4%); specificity, 67.1% (48.3% – 85.9%);
FDG PET metabolism: sensitivity, 94.5% (91.0% – 98.0%); specificity, 66.8% (53.2% – 80.3%).
Given these findings, further higher quality studies are required to determine the comparative effectiveness and clinical utility of metabolism and perfusion/metabolism mismatch viability imaging with PET.
Based on very low quality of evidence, patients with viable myocardium who are revascularized have a lower mortality rate than those who are treated with medical therapy. Given the quality of evidence, however, this estimate of effect is uncertain so further higher quality studies in this area should be undertaken to determine the presence and magnitude of the effect.
While revascularization may reduce mortality in patients with viable myocardium, current moderate quality RCT evidence suggests that PET-guided treatment decisions do not result in statistically significant reductions in mortality compared with treatment decisions based on SPECT or standard care protocols. The PARR II trial by Beanlands et al. found a significant reduction in cardiac events (a composite outcome that includes cardiac deaths, MI, or hospital stay for cardiac cause) between the adherence to PET recommendations subgroup and the standard care group (hazard ratio, .62; 95% confidence intervals, 0.42 – 0.93; P = .019); however, this post-hoc sub-group analysis is hypothesis generating and higher quality studies are required to substantiate these findings.
The use of FDG PET plus SPECT to determine perfusion/metabolism mismatch to assess myocardial viability increases the radiation exposure compared with FDG PET imaging alone or FDG PET combined with PET perfusion imaging (total-body effective dose: FDG PET, 7 mSv; FDG PET plus PET perfusion tracer, 7.6 – 7.7 mSV; FDG PET plus SPECT perfusion tracer, 16 – 25 mSv). While the precise risk attributed to this increased exposure is unknown, there is increasing concern regarding lifetime multiple exposures to radiation-based imaging modalities, although the incremental lifetime risk for patients who are older or have a poor prognosis may not be as great as for healthy individuals.
PMCID: PMC3377573  PMID: 23074393
22.  Late gadolinium enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance of lamin A/C gene mutation related dilated cardiomyopathy 
Background
The purpose of this study was to identify early features of lamin A/C gene mutation related dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). We characterise myocardial and functional findings in carriers of lamin A/C mutation to facilitate the recognition of these patients using this method. We also investigated the connection between myocardial fibrosis and conduction abnormalities.
Methods
Seventeen lamin A/C mutation carriers underwent CMR. Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and cine images were performed to evaluate myocardial fibrosis, regional wall motion, longitudinal myocardial function, global function and volumetry of both ventricles. The location, pattern and extent of enhancement in the left ventricle (LV) myocardium were visually estimated.
Results
Patients had LV myocardial fibrosis in 88% of cases. Segmental wall motion abnormalities correlated strongly with the degree of enhancement. Myocardial enhancement was associated with conduction abnormalities. Sixty-nine percent of our asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients showed mild ventricular dilatation, systolic failure or both in global ventricular analysis. Decreased longitudinal systolic LV function was observed in 53% of patients.
Conclusions
Cardiac conduction abnormalities, mildly dilated LV and depressed systolic dysfunction are common in DCM caused by a lamin A/C gene mutation. However, other cardiac diseases may produce similar symptoms. CMR is an accurate tool to determine the typical cardiac involvement in lamin A/C cardiomyopathy and may help to initiate early treatment in this malignant familiar form of DCM.
doi:10.1186/1532-429X-13-30
PMCID: PMC3135551  PMID: 21689390
23.  Fast T2 gradient-spin-echo (T2-GraSE) mapping for myocardial edema quantification: first in vivo validation in a porcine model of ischemia/reperfusion 
Background
Several T2-mapping sequences have been recently proposed to quantify myocardial edema by providing T2 relaxation time values. However, no T2-mapping sequence has ever been validated against actual myocardial water content for edema detection. In addition, these T2-mapping sequences are either time-consuming or require specialized software for data acquisition and/or post-processing, factors impeding their routine clinical use. Our objective was to obtain in vivo validation of a sequence for fast and accurate myocardial T2-mapping (T2 gradient-spin-echo [GraSE]) that can be easily integrated in routine protocols.
Methods
The study population comprised 25 pigs. Closed-chest 40 min ischemia/reperfusion was performed in 20 pigs. Pigs were sacrificed at 120 min (n = 5), 24 h (n = 5), 4 days (n = 5) and 7 days (n = 5) after reperfusion, and heart tissue extracted for quantification of myocardial water content. For the evaluation of T2 relaxation time, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) scans, including T2 turbo-spin-echo (T2-TSE, reference standard) mapping and T2-GraSE mapping, were performed at baseline and at every follow-up until sacrifice. Five additional pigs were sacrificed after baseline CMR study and served as controls.
Results
Acquisition of T2-GraSE mapping was significantly (3-fold) faster than conventional T2-TSE mapping. Myocardial T2 relaxation measurements performed by T2-TSE and T2-GraSE mapping demonstrated an almost perfect correlation (R2 = 0.99) and agreement with no systematic error between techniques. The two T2-mapping sequences showed similarly good correlations with myocardial water content: R2 = 0.75 and R2 = 0.73 for T2-TSE and T2-GraSE mapping, respectively.
Conclusions
We present the first in vivo validation of T2-mapping to assess myocardial edema. Given its shorter acquisition time and no requirement for specific software for data acquisition or post-processing, fast T2-GraSE mapping of the myocardium offers an attractive alternative to current CMR sequences for T2 quantification.
doi:10.1186/s12968-015-0199-9
PMCID: PMC4634909  PMID: 26538198
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; T2-mapping; Imaging; Myocardial infarction; Edema; Water content
24.  Characterization of myocardial T1-mapping bias caused by intramyocardial fat in inversion recovery and saturation recovery techniques 
Background
Quantitative measurement of T1 in the myocardium may be used to detect both focal and diffuse disease processes such as interstitial fibrosis or edema. A partial volume problem exists when a voxel in the myocardium also contains fat. Partial volume with fat occurs at tissue boundaries or within the myocardium in the case of lipomatous metaplasia of replacement fibrosis, which is commonly seen in chronic myocardial infarction. The presence of fat leads to a bias in T1 measurement. The mechanism for this artifact for widely used T1 mapping protocols using balanced steady state free precession readout and the dependence on off-resonance frequency are described in this paper.
Methods
Simulations were performed to illustrate the behavior of mono-exponential fitting to bi-exponential mixtures of myocardium and fat with varying fat fractions. Both inversion recovery and saturation recovery imaging protocols using balanced steady state free precession are considered. In-vivo imaging with T1-mapping, water/fat separated imaging, and late enhancement imaging was performed on subjects with chronic myocardial infarction.
Results
In n = 17 subjects with chronic myocardial infarction, lipomatous metaplasia is evident in 8 patients (47%). Fat fractions as low as 5% caused approximately 6% T1 elevation for the out-of-phase condition, and approximately 5% reduction of T1 for the in-phase condition. T1 bias in excess of 1000 ms was observed in lipomatous metaplasia with fat fraction of 38% in close agreement with simulation of the specific imaging protocols.
Conclusions
Measurement of the myocardial T1 by widely used balanced steady state free precession mapping methods is subject to bias when there is a mixture of water and fat in the myocardium. Intramyocardial fat is frequently present in myocardial scar tissue due lipomatous metaplasia, a process affecting myocardial infarction and some non-ischemic cardiomyopathies. In cases of lipomatous metaplasia, the T1 biases will be additive or subtractive depending on whether the center frequency corresponds to the myocardium and fat being in-phase or out-of-phase, respectively. It is important to understand this mechanism, which may otherwise lead to erroneous interpretation.
doi:10.1186/s12968-015-0136-y
PMCID: PMC4425910  PMID: 25958014
T1 map; MOLLI; SASHA; Chronic myocardial infarction; Lipomatous metaplasia; Fatty metaplasia; Fat
25.  Native T1 values identify myocardial changes and stratify disease severity in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy 
Background
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked, inherited disorder causing dilated cardiomyopathy with variable onset and progression. Currently we lack objective markers of the effect of therapies targeted towards preventing progression of subclinical cardiac disease. Thus, our aim was to compare the ability of native T1 and extracellular volume (ECV) measurements to differentiate risk of myocardial disease in DMD and controls.
Methods
Twenty boys with DMD and 16 age/gender-matched controls without history predisposing to cardiac fibrosis, but with a clinical indication for cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) evaluation, underwent CMR with contrast. Data points collected include left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), left ventricular mass, and presence of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). Native T1, and ECV regional mapping were obtained using both a modified Look-Locker (MOLLI) and saturation recovery single shot sequence (SASHA) on a 1.5T scanner. Using ordinal logistic regression models, controlling for age and LVEF, LGE-free septal we evaluated the ability native T1 and ECV assessments to differentiate levels of cardiomyopathy.
Results
Twenty DMD subjects aged 14.4 ± 4 years had an LVEF of 56.3 ± 7.4 %; 12/20 had LGE, all confined to the lateral wall. Sixteen controls aged 16.1 ± 2.2 years had an LVEF 60.4 ± 5.1 % and no LGE. Native T1 and ECV values were significantly higher in the DMD group (p < 0.05) with both MOLLI and SASHA imaging techniques. Native T1 demonstrated a 50 % increase in the ability to predict disease state (control, DMD without fibrosis, DMD with fibrosis). ECV demonstrated only the ability to predict presence of LGE, but could not distinguish between controls and DMD without fibrosis.
Conclusions
LGE-spared regions of boys with DMD have significantly different native T1 and ECV values compared to controls. Native T1 measurements can identify early changes in DMD patients without the presence of LGE and help predict disease severity more effectively than ECV. Native T1 may be a novel outcome measure for early cardiac therapies in DMD and other cardiomyopathies.
doi:10.1186/s12968-016-0292-8
PMCID: PMC5084339  PMID: 27788681
Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Cardiomyopathy; Pediatrics; T1 mapping

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