Purpose: To investigate equilibrium contrast material-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging measurement of extracellular volume (ECV) fraction within healthy abdominal tissues and to test the hypotheses that tissue ECV in systemic amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is greater than in healthy patients and show that this increase correlates with organ amyloid burden.
Materials and methods: A local ethics committee approved the study and all patients gave written informed consent. Forty healthy volunteers (18 men, 22 women; median age, 43 years; age range, 24-88 years) and 67 patients with AL amyloidosis (43 men, 24 women; median age, 65 years; age range, 38-81 years) underwent equilibrium MR imaging of the upper abdomen. ECV was measured in the liver, spleen, and paravertebral muscle. Patients with amyloidosis also underwent serum amyloid P (SAP) component scintigraphy so that specific organ involvement by amyloid could be scored. Variation in ECV between tissues was assessed by using a Friedman Test. Tissue ECV in healthy and amyloidosis groups were compared by using a Mann-Whitney U test. Spearman correlation was used to test for an association between the organ SAP score and ECV.
Results: ECV measured at equilibrium MR imaging varied significantly between organs in healthy volunteers (χ(2) = 31.0; P < .001). ECV was highest in the spleen (0.34), followed by liver (0.29) and muscle (0.09). ECVs measured within the spleen (0.39; P< .001), liver (0.31; P = .005), and muscle (0.16; P< .001) were significantly higher in patients with amyloidosis than in healthy control subjects. ECV measured in the liver and spleen showed increasing organ amyloid burden assessed at SAP scintigraphy (liver, rs = 0.54; spleen, rs = 0.57).
Conclusion: Equilibrium MR imaging can be used to define ECV within healthy tissues. ECV is increased in amyloidosis compared with healthy tissues, and this increase correlates with rising tissue amyloid burden.