OBJECTIVES: To analyze the diagnostic accuracy of native T1 and T2 mapping compared with visual and quantitative assessment of edema on T2-weighted cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) images to differentiate between acute and chronic myocardial infarction.
METHODS: This study had institutional ethics committee approval. Written informed consent was obtained from 67 consecutive patients (57 years ± 12; 78% men) with a first acute myocardial infarction, who were prospectively enrolled between April 2011 and June 2015. Four serial 1.5-T MR imaging examinations were performed at 8 days ± 5, 7 weeks ± 2, 3 months ± 0.5, and 6 months ± 1.4 after infarction and included T2-weighted, native T1/T2 mapping, and late gadolinium enhancement MR imaging. Complete follow-up data were obtained in 42 patients. Regional native T1/T2 relaxation time, T2-weighted ratio, and extracellular volume were serially measured in infarcted and remote myocardium. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the MR imaging parameters for discriminating between acute and chronic myocardial infarction.
RESULTS: Native T1 of infarcted myocardium decreased from 1286 msec ± 99 at baseline to 1077 msec ± 50 at 6 months (P < .0001), whereas T2 decreased from 84 msec ± 10 to 58 msec ± 4 (P < .0001). The T2-weighted ratio decreased from 4.1 ± 1.0 to 2.4 ± 0.6 (P < .0001). Of all the MR imaging parameters obtained, native T1 and T2 yielded the best areas under the ROC curve (AUCs) of 0.975 and 0.979, respectively, for differentiating between acute and chronic myocardial infarction. Visual analysis of the presence of edema at standard T2-weighted cardiac MR imaging resulted in an inferior AUC of 0.863 (P < .01).
CONCLUSIONS: Native T1 and T2 of infarcted myocardium are excellent discriminators between acute and chronic myocardial infarction and are superior to all other MR imaging parameters.