OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and signal intensity (SI) characteristics of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC).
METHODS: Cine, black-blood T2-weighted and LGE MR images were acquired in 23 patients with TC within 72h of onset. Wall motion abnormality (WMA), edema and LGE were evaluated with a 16-segment model. The SI characteristics of LGE were analyzed using SI distribution in remote normal segments as reference. Follow-up MRI was performed 3 months later. Retrospective analysis of LGE MRI was also performed in 10 patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) to compare the SI characteristics between TC and AMI.
RESULTS: In acute phase, WMA and edema were observed in 236 (64%) and 205 (56%) of 368 segments. LGE was observed in 10 (2.7%) of 368 segments and in 5 (22%) of 23 patients. All LGE lesions in TC exhibited transmural enhancement. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in TC was significantly lower than that of AMI (3.1Â±0.3 standard deviations (SD) vs. 6.1Â±1.2 SD, P<0.01), and CNR value of 4 was useful for distinguishing TC from AMI. Both LGE and WMA disappeared within 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Grey myocardial signal on LGE MRI may be observed in patients with TC. However, the extent of LGE is substantially less than that of WMA and edema, and disappears within 12 months.