Myocardial fat deposition after left ventricular myocardial infarction: assessment by using MR water-fat separation imaging

Radiology. 2009 Oct;253(1):65-73. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2532082290. Epub 2009 Jul 31.


Purpose: To prospectively investigate the prevalence of fat deposition in chronic myocardial infarction (MI) by using magnetic resonance (MR) fat-water separation imaging with sampling of the entire left ventricular (LV) myocardium. A subsidiary aim was to determine the relationship between LV fat deposition and scar characteristics, as well as regional and global cardiac functional parameters.

Materials and methods: Twenty-five patients with LV MI were evaluated in this prospective institutional review board-approved, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant study after they provided written informed consent. A 1.5-T MR system was used to perform volumetric cine, fat-sensitive, and late gadolinium-enhanced (LGE) infarct imaging. Water-fat separation was performed by using a three-point Dixon reconstruction from in- and opposed-phase black-blood gradient-echo images. Fat deposition location was compared with LGE infarct imaging by using a 17-segment model. Global and regional functional variables, LGE volumes, and fat deposition were compared by using the Pearson correlation, Student t test, and multiple regression.

Results: A fat deposition prevalence of 68% was found in areas of chronic MI. The patients with fat deposition had larger infarctions (30.0 mL +/- 15.1 [standard deviation] vs 14.8 mL +/- 6.1; P = .002), decreased wall thickening (2.3% +/- 20.0 vs 37.8% +/- 34.4; P = .003), and impaired endocardial wall motion (2.9 mm +/- 2.0 vs 5.8 mm +/- 2.6; P = .007). The volume of fat deposition was correlated with infarct volume, LV ejection fraction, LV end-diastolic volume index, and LV end-systolic volume index.

Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of fat deposition in healed MI. It is associated with post-infarction characteristics including infarct volume, LV mass, wall thickness, wall thickening, and wall motion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA