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Am J Transplant. 2016 Oct;16(10):3007-3015. doi: 10.1111/ajt.13839. Epub 2016 May 23.

Perfusion Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a Rule-Out Test for Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy.

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Heart Failure-Transplantation, Division of Cardiology, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Canada.
Division of Cardiology, Toronto General Hospital-University Health Network, Toronto, Canada.
Cardiovascular Data Management Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a leading cause of mortality after heart transplantation. Noninvasive imaging techniques used in CAV evaluation have important limitations. In a cross-sectional study, we investigated perfusion cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging to determine an optimal myocardial perfusion reserve index (MPR) cutoff for detecting CAV using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. We evaluated CMR performance using sensitivity, specificity and likelihood ratio analysis. We included 29 patients (mean 5 ± 4 years after transplant) scheduled for coronary angiography with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) who completed CMR. CAV was defined as maximal intimal thickness (MIT) >0.5 mm by IVUS of the left anterior descending artery. CAV was evident in 19 patients (70%) on IVUS (mean MIT 0.82 ± 0.42 mm). MPR was significantly lower in patients with MIT ≥0.50 mm (1.35 ± 0.23 vs. 1.71 ± 0.45, p = 0.013). There was moderate inverse correlation between MPR and MIT (r = -0.36, p = 0.075). The optimal MPR cutoff ≤1.68 for predicting CAV showed sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 63%, a negative predictive value of 100%, a positive predictive value of 86% and a positive likelihood ratio of 2.7. An MPR ≤1.68 has high negative predictive value, suggesting its potential as a test to rule out CAV.


clinical research/practice; diagnostic techniques and imaging: magnetic resonance imaging; heart transplantation/cardiology; vasculopathy

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