Retrospective determination of the area at risk for reperfused acute myocardial infarction with T2-weighted cardiac magnetic resonance imaging: histopathological and displacement encoding with stimulated echoes (DENSE) functional validations

Circulation. 2006 Apr 18;113(15):1865-70. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.576025. Epub 2006 Apr 10.


Background: The aim of this study was to determine whether edema imaging by T2-weighted cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging could retrospectively delineate the area at risk in reperfused myocardial infarction. We hypothesized that the size of the area at risk during a transient occlusion would be similar to the T2-weighted hyperintense region observed 2 days later, that the T2-weighted hyperintense myocardium would show partial functional recovery after 2 months, and that the T2 abnormality would resolve over 2 months.

Methods and results: Seventeen dogs underwent a 90-minute coronary artery occlusion, followed by reperfusion. The area at risk, as measured with microspheres (9 animals), was comparable to the size of the hyperintense zone on T2-weighted images 2 days later (43.4+/-3.3% versus 43.0+/-3.4% of the left ventricle; P=NS), and the 2 measures correlated (R=0.84). The infarcted zone was significantly smaller (23.1+/-3.7; both P<0.001). To test whether the hyperintense myocardium would exhibit partial functional recovery over time, 8 animals were imaged on day 2 and 2 months later. Systolic strain was mapped with displacement encoding with stimulated echoes. Edema, as detected by a hyperintense zone on T2-weighted images, resolved, and regional radial systolic strain partially improved from 4.9+/-0.7 to 13.1+/-1.5 (P=0.001) over 2 months.

Conclusions: These findings are consistent with the premise that the T2 abnormality depicts the area at risk, a zone of reversibly and irreversibly injured myocardium associated with reperfused subendocardial infarctions. The persistence of postischemic edema allows T2-weighted CMR to delineate the area at risk 2 days after reperfused myocardial infarction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Edema, Cardiac / diagnosis
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Microspheres
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Recovery of Function
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors