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Invest Radiol. 2012 Sep;47(9):538-45. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0b013e3182631c37.

Extracellular volume fractions in chronic myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Department for Clinical Radiology, Grosshadern, University Hospitals, Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany.



The aim of this study was to assess and delineate chronic myocardial infarction (CMI) using precontrast and postcontrast T1 mapping techniques including quantification of extracellular volume fractions (ECVs).


A total of 26 patients with CMI were examined at 1.5 T applying a modified Look-Locker Inversion Recovery sequence before and 10 minutes after contrast at 3 short-axis slice positions. An inversion recovery gradient recalled echo sequence (standard of reference) was used for imaging late gadolinium enhancement. Precontrast and postcontrast T1 maps were calculated, and CMI was defined as areas with T1 values more than 3 SDs different compared with normal myocardium (MYO). T1 values of CMI, MYO, and blood pool were measured, and ECVs of CMI and MYO were calculated. Two-tailed Student t test was used for statistical analysis of T1 values and ECVs. Sensitivities and specificities for detection of CMI on precontrast and postcontrast T1 maps were calculated. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed for postcontrast T1 values and ECV for discrimination of CMI.


The comparison of T1 values of CMI and MYO revealed significant differences in precontrast and postcontrast scans (1159 ± 64 vs 1001 ± 47 milliseconds, P < 0.001, and 238 ± 74 vs 379 ± 59 milliseconds, P < 0.001). Sensitivities and specificities for detection of CMI on T1 mapping were 41.7% and 100% in precontrast Look-Locker Inversion Recovery scans and 95.8% and 99.3% in postcontrast images, respectively. Average ECV for MYO and CMI were 28% ± 5% and 53% ± 10% (P < 0.001). ROC analysis revealed nonsignificantly different areas under the curve of 0.937 and 0.997 for T1 values and ECV, respectively (P = 0.137). Sensitivities and specificities were 92.3% and 92.3% for detecting CMI by postcontrast T1 values and 95.5% and 100% for ECV, with cutoff values being 305 milliseconds or less and greater than 42%. Combined criteria did not result in any further improvement of sensitivity for CMI detection.


Postcontrast T1 values and ECV of chronically infarcted MYO are significantly different compared with respective values of normal MYO. Both parameters allow for accurate detection of CMI with ECV showing marginally higher sensitivity and specificity. Precontrast T1 values lack accuracy in delineation of CMI.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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