Combined first-pass perfusion and viability study at MR imaging in patients with non-ST segment-elevation acute coronary syndromes: feasibility study

Radiology. 2003 Mar;226(3):717-22. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2263011902. Epub 2003 Jan 15.


Purpose: To assess the feasibility of combined perfusion and viability testing by using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in one setting in patients with non-ST segment-elevation acute coronary syndromes.

Materials and methods: The data of 13 patients (mean age, 68 years; range, 40-85 years) at high risk for myocardial infarction who underwent MR imaging at 1.5 T were reviewed. Risk factors were increased troponin T levels in seven, reversible ST depression on an electrocardiogram in four, history of myocardial infarction in two, and presence of heart failure in four. Cine imaging of the left ventricle was performed with a true-fast imaging with steady-state precession (FISP) sequence to assess the regional myocardial contraction and ejection fraction. After injection of 0.1 mmol per kilogram of body weight of gadopentetate dimeglumine, first-pass MR images were obtained by using an inversion-recovery true-FISP sequence at rest and during infusion of adenosine (140 microg/kg/min). Resting and stress images were assessed qualitatively for abnormal regional perfusion (hypoenhancement). The myocardium was divided into three radial segments corresponding to the three coronary artery territories. Delayed (after 15 minutes) contrast material-enhanced images were acquired with use of a segmented inversion-recovery fast low-angle shot sequence. Conventional coronary angiograms were compared with the first-pass images. A more than 50% stenosis in diameter in any coronary artery was considered substantial. Mann-Whitney test was used to assess any significant difference between the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in patients with and those without myocardial infarct.

Results: Mean LVEF was 51.5% (range, 30%-77%). First-pass stress perfusion studies depicted 25 segments of hypoenhancement in 11 patients. Comparison of first-pass perfusion defects with findings on coronary angiograms indicated an overall sensitivity of 92% (24 of 26) and specificity of 92% (12 of 13) in detection of substantial coronary artery disease. Infarcts detected from hyperenhancement on delayed contrast-enhanced images were present in eight segments (four were transmural) in five patients. No significant difference was noted in the LVEF between patients with and those without infarct (P =.724).

Conclusion: Combined stress perfusion and viability MR imaging was feasible in patients with acute coronary syndromes. First-pass MR perfusion defects compare well with the presence of substantial coronary artery stenosis on conventional angiograms.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Media
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Troponin T / blood


  • Contrast Media
  • Troponin T
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Adenosine