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Magn Reson Med. 1992 Feb;23(2):346-55.

The effect of postinfarction intramyocardial hemorrhage on transverse relaxation time.

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Department of Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


1H NMR imaging has been used to define zones of myocardial infarction (MI), which appear as areas of relatively increased signal intensity (SI). However, zones of decreased SI have been observed within or around the areas of infarction in NMR images acquired at high magnetic fields. To determine the cause of these areas of reduced SI, ex vivo spin-echo 1H NMR imaging at 1.5 T was performed in eight dogs following 72 h of coronary artery occlusion. In all dogs, a zone of increased SI (122 +/- 7% compared to control myocardium; P less than 0.01) was observed in the territory of the occluded coronary artery. In seven of the dogs, additional zones were also seen, within or around the central zone of increased SI, which displayed SI that was reduced in comparison with the local enhanced intensity, but was similar to the intensity of normal myocardium (97 +/- 7% compared to control; P = NS). Gross inspection and histological assessment of sliced myocardium disclosed hemorrhage in these regions characterized by locally decreased NMR SI. Image-derived calculation of T2 in the various infarct regions revealed a significant shortening of T2 in the hemorrhagic infarct zones characterized by decreased SI, in comparison with the nonhemorrhagic infarct zones characterized by increased SI (59 +/- 7 ms vs 73 +/- 10 ms, P less than 0.05). No difference was found, however, between the observed T2's of hemorrhagic infarct and of control tissue (57 +/- 4 ms). Using a biexponential analysis of T2 from the hemorrhagic infarct zones, the intrinsic T2 of water protons affected by hemorrhage was determined to be 43 +/- 9 ms, significantly reduced in comparison with the values obtained with the standard monoexponential fit. The reduction in T2 in the hemorrhagic zone is consistent with the paramagnetic effects of deoxyhemoglobin associated with intramyocardial hemorrhage. Thus the apparent T2, measured in hemorrhagic infarct tissue, represents the result of an averaging effect of infarct and hemorrhage on T2 relaxation times. These observations improve our understanding of the changes in NMR SI within the infarcted regions, and may provide a noninvasive method for the detection and quantitative assessment of intramyocardial hemorrhage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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