Reproducibility of chronic infarct size measurement by contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging

Circulation. 2002 Oct 29;106(18):2322-7. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.0000036368.63317.1c.


Background: The reproducibility of contrast-enhanced MRI has not been established. We compared MRI reproducibility for infarct size determination with that of (99m)Tc-sestamibi (MIBI) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).

Methods and results: Patients with chronic myocardial infarction defined by enzymes (peak creatine kinase-MB 173+/-119 U/L) were scanned twice by MRI (MRI I and MRI II, n=20) and twice by SPECT (SPECT I and SPECT II, n=15) on the same day. The MRI contrast agent was injected during MRI I but not MRI II to test the effect of imaging time after contrast. Resting Tc-MIBI SPECT images were acquired and infarct size was determined with commercial software. Infarct size in patients scanned by MRI and SPECT was 14+/-6% of left ventricular mass (%LV) by MRI (range 4%LV to 27%LV) and 14+/-7%LV by SPECT (range 4%LV to 26%LV). MRI I and II scans were performed 10+/-2 and 27+/-3 minutes after contrast, respectively. For MRI, the difference in infarct size between scans I and II (bias) was -0.1%LV, and the coefficient of repeatability was +/-2.4%LV. For SPECT, bias was -1.3%LV, and the coefficient of repeatability was +/-4.0%LV. Within individual patients, no systematic differences in infarct size were detected when the 2 MRI scans were compared, the 2 SPECT scans were compared, or MRI was compared to SPECT.

Conclusion: The size of healed infarcts measured by contrast-enhanced MRI does not change between 10 and 30 minutes after contrast. The clinical reproducibility of contrast-enhanced MRI for infarct size determination compares favorably with that of routine clinical SPECT.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Contrast Media
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Contrast Media
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Creatine Kinase