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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Jun;21(7):1741-51.

Accurate systolic wall thickening by nuclear magnetic resonance imaging with tissue tagging: correlation with sonomicrometers in normal and ischemic myocardium.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.



This study examined whether the correlation of systolic wall thickening (%WT) by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging with wall thickening by sonomicrometry (SM) is improved by using a three-dimensional volume element model of the left ventricular wall.


Left ventricular wall obliquity with respect to the imaging plane causes overestimation of wall thickness by planar imaging techniques. Wall thickness perpendicular to the endocardial surface can be accurately calculated by three-dimensional reconstruction of left ventricular wall segments.


Sonomicrometers were placed transmurally in 11 dogs (left anterior descending artery territory) with an imaging marker, visible on NMR imaging, sewn to the epicardial crystal. Two adjacent NMR short-axis image planes were radially segmented by four perpendicular spin-saturated planes (tags), dividing the myocardium into eight volume elements, one of which contained the sonomicrometer crystal pair. Left ventricular thickness and thickening were calculated by four methods: 1) linear = distance between epicardium and endocardium at midpoint in the segment with the sonomicrometer; 2) planar = area of that segment divided by the mean of the endocardial and epicardial arc lengths; 3) biplanar = average of wall thicknesses calculated by the planar method from the segment with sonomicrometers and the corresponding segment located in the adjacent short-axis imaging plane; and 4) three-dimensional = volume of the element with the sonomicrometers divided by the mean of the endocardial and epicardial surface areas.


Regressions for all methods using pooled data from control periods and during ischemia: Linear %WT = 0.59 + 1.31 SM%WT (r = 0.71, SEE = 0.28, p < 0.0002) Planar %WT = 1.43 + 1.62 SM%WT (r = 0.87, SEE = 0.19, p < 0.0001) Biplanar %WT = 2.09 + 1.46 SM%WT (r = 0.90, SEE = 0.15, p < 0.0001) Three-dimensional %WT = 0.19 + 1.49 SM%WT (r = 0.95, SEE = 0.10, p < 0.0001)


Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging with tissue tagging allows accurate noninvasive assessment of systolic wall thickening. The three-dimensional volume element approach, by accounting for obliquity between the image plane and the left ventricular wall, provides the strongest correlation between NMR imaging and percent systolic wall thickening by sonomicrometer crystals.

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