OBJECTIVES: LGE CMR is a powerful method for characterizing MI, but the requisite gadolinium infusion is estimated to be contraindicated in nearly 20% of MI patients due to end-stage chronic kidney disease. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether T1 Cardiovascular-Magnetic-Resonance Imaging (CMR) obtained without contrast agents at 3T could be an alternative to Late-Gadolinium-Enhanced (LGE) CMR for characterizing chronic myocardial infarctions (MIs) using a canine model of MI.
METHODS: Canines (n=29) underwent CMR at 7 days (acute, AMI) and 4 months (chronic, CMI) post-MI. Infarct location, size and transmurality measured using native T1 maps and LGE images at 1.5T and 3T were compared.
RESULTS: Resolution of edema between AMI and CMI was examined with T2 maps. T1 maps overestimated infarct size and transmurality relative to LGE images in AMI (p=0.016 and p=0.007, respectively), which was not observed in CMI (p=0.49 and p=0.81, respectively), at 3T. T1 maps underestimated infarct size and transmurality relative to LGE images in AMI and CMI (p<0.001), at 1.5T. Relative to the remote territories, T1 of the infarcted myocardium was increased in CMI and AMI (p<0.05); and T2 of the infarcted myocardium was increased in AMI (p<0.001), but not in CMI (p >0.20) at both field strengths. Histology showed extensive replacement fibrosis within the CMI territories. CMI detection sensitivity and specificity of T1 CMR at 3T were 95% and 97%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Native T1 maps at 3T can determine the location, size and transmurality of CMI with high diagnostic accuracy. Patient studies are necessary for clinical translation.