JOURNAL ARTICLE

Evaluation of diffuse myocardial fibrosis in heart failure with cardiac magnetic resonance contrast-enhanced T1 mapping

Leah Iles, Heinz Pfluger, Arintaya Phrommintikul, Joshi Cherayath, Pelin Aksit, Sandeep N Gupta, David M Kaye, Andrew J Taylor
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2008 November 4, 52 (19): 1574-80
19007595

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate a noninvasive method for quantifying diffuse myocardial fibrosis with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI).

BACKGROUND: Diffuse myocardial fibrosis is a fundamental process in pathologic remodeling in cardiomyopathy and is postulated to cause increased cardiac stiffness and poor clinical outcomes. Although regional fibrosis is easily imaged with cardiac magnetic resonance, there is currently no noninvasive method for quantifying diffuse myocardial fibrosis.

METHODS: We performed CMRI on 45 subjects (25 patients with heart failure, 20 control patients), on a clinical 1.5-T CMRI scanner. A prototype T(1) mapping sequence was used to calculate the post-contrast myocardial T(1) time as an index of diffuse fibrosis; regional fibrosis was identified by delayed contrast enhancement. Regional and global systolic function was assessed by cine CMRI in standard short- and long-axis planes, with echocardiography used to evaluate diastology. An additional 9 subjects underwent CMRI and endomyocardial biopsy for histologic correlation.

RESULTS: Post-contrast myocardial T(1) times correlated histologically with fibrosis (R = -0.7, p = 0.03) and were shorter in heart failure subjects than controls (383 +/- 17 ms vs. 564 +/- 23 ms, p < 0.0001). The T(1) time of heart failure myocardium was shorter than that in controls even when excluding areas of regional fibrosis (429 +/- 22 ms vs. 564 +/- 23 ms, p < 0.0001). The post-contrast myocardial T(1) time shortened as diastolic function worsened (562 +/- 24 ms in normal diastolic function vs. 423 +/- 33 ms in impaired diastolic function vs. 368 +/- 20 ms in restrictive function, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Contrast-enhanced CMRI T(1) mapping identifies changes in myocardial T(1) times in heart failure, which appear to reflect diffuse fibrosis.

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