MRI changes in myocarditis--evaluation with spin echo, cine MR angiography and contrast enhanced spin echo imaging

Clin Radiol. 2000 Oct;55(10):752-8. doi: 10.1053/crad.2000.0519.


Aim: Myocarditis is probably under-diagnosed with clinical criteria generally used for diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has shown promise in detecting heart muscle disorders and we set out to assess the role of cine magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and contrast enhancement in myocarditis, as there is a need for a non-invasive tool that can aid prognosis and follow-up.

Materials and methods: Twenty patients were evaluated with T1 SE pre- and post-gadolinium enhancement and cine MRA. Four patients were histologically proven to have myocarditis, eight others were diagnosed as having myocarditis by clinical criteria and eight did not have myocarditis. Images were evaluated in a blinded fashion for regional wall motion abnormality and contrast enhancement pattern. Analysis of contrast enhancement by signal intensity measurement was also performed.

Results: Focal myocardial enhancement with associated regional wall motion abnormality correlated with myocarditis in 10 out of 12 patients, two patients with abnormal focal enhancement alone also clinically had myocarditis. None of the non-myocarditis patients showed abnormal focal enhancement. Enhancement analysis suggests that focal corrected myocardial enhancement of > 40% is abnormal.

Conclusion: In the correct clinical context, focal myocardial enhancement on spin echo MRI strongly supports a diagnosis of myocarditis, especially when associated with regional wall motion abnormality.Roditi, G. H. (2000). Clinical Radiology55, 752-758.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contrast Media
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / methods
  • Male
  • Myocarditis / diagnosis*
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA