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High-Resolution Free-Breathing Automated Quantitative Myocardial Perfusion by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance for the Detection of Functionally Significant Coronary Artery Disease.

AIMS: Current assessment of myocardial ischaemia from stress perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance (SP-CMR) largely relies on visual interpretation. This study investigated the use of high-resolution free-breathing SP-CMR with automated quantitative mapping in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD). Diagnostic performance was evaluated against invasive coronary angiography (ICA) with fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurement.

METHODS & RESULTS: Seven-hundred and three patients were recruited for SP-CMR using the research sequence at 3 Tesla. Of those receiving ICA within 6 months, 80 patients either had FFR measurement, or identification of a chronic total occlusion (CTO) with inducible perfusion defects seen on SP-CMR. Myocardial blood flow (MBF) maps were automatically generated in-line on the scanner following image acquisition at hyperaemic stress and rest, allowing myocardial perfusion reserve (MPR) calculation. 75 coronary vessels assessed by FFR, and 28 vessels with CTO were evaluated at both segmental and coronary territory level. Coronary territory stress MBF and MPR were reduced in FFR-positive (≤ 0.80) regions (median stress MBF: 1.74 [0.90-2.17] ml/min/g; MPR: 1.67 [1.10-1.89]) compared with FFR-negative regions (stress MBF: 2.50 [2.15-2.95] ml/min/g; MPR 2.35 [2.06-2.54] p < 0.001 for both). Stress MBF ≤ 1.94 ml/min/g and MPR ≤ 1.97 accurately detected FFR-positive CAD on a per-vessel basis (area under the curve: 0.85 and 0.96 respectively; p < 0.001 for both).

CONCLUSIONS: A novel scanner-integrated high-resolution free-breathing SP-CMR sequence with automated in-line perfusion mapping is presented which accurately detects functionally significant CAD.

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