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JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2018 May;11(5):697-707. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2018.01.005. Epub 2018 Feb 14.

Diagnostic Performance of Fully Automated Pixel-Wise Quantitative Myocardial Perfusion Imaging by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance.

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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Electronic address:



The authors developed a fully automated framework to quantify myocardial blood flow (MBF) from contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) perfusion imaging and evaluated its diagnostic performance in patients.


Fully quantitative CMR perfusion pixel maps were previously validated with microsphere MBF measurements and showed potential in clinical applications, but the methods required laborious manual processes and were excessively time-consuming.


CMR perfusion imaging was performed on 80 patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) and 17 healthy volunteers. Significant CAD was defined by quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) as ≥70% stenosis. Nonsignificant CAD was defined by: 1) QCA as <70% stenosis; or 2) coronary computed tomography angiography as <30% stenosis and a calcium score of 0 in all vessels. Automatically generated MBF maps were compared with manual quantification on healthy volunteers. Diagnostic performance of the automated MBF pixel maps was analyzed on patients using absolute MBF, myocardial perfusion reserve (MPR), and relative measurements of MBF and MPR.


The correlation between automated and manual quantification was excellent (r = 0.96). Stress MBF and MPR in the ischemic zone were lower than those in the remote myocardium in patients with significant CAD (both p < 0.001). Stress MBF and MPR in the remote zone of the patients were lower than those in the normal volunteers (both p < 0.001). All quantitative metrics had good area under the curve (0.864 to 0.926), sensitivity (82.9% to 91.4%), and specificity (75.6% to 91.1%) on per-patient analysis. On a per-vessel analysis of the quantitative metrics, area under the curve (0.837 to 0.864), sensitivity (75.0% to 82.7%), and specificity (71.8% to 80.9%) were good.


Fully quantitative CMR MBF pixel maps can be generated automatically, and the results agree well with manual quantification. These methods can discriminate regional perfusion variations and have high diagnostic performance for detecting significant CAD. (Technical Development of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging; NCT00027170).


computer-aided diagnosis; image processing; magnetic resonance imaging; myocardial blood flow; myocardial perfusion; quantification

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