Objective: To develop a new method for the cardiac MR (CMR) quantification of peri-infarct ischaemia using fused perfusion and delayed-enhanced images and to evaluate this method using quantitative single photon emission CT (SPECT) imaging as a reference.
Methods: 40 patients presenting with peri-infarct ischaemia on a routine stress (99m)Tc-SPECT imaging were recruited. Within 8 days of the SPECT study, myocardial perfusion was evaluated using stress adenosine CMR. Using fused perfusion and delayed-enhanced images, peri-infarct ischaemia was quantified as the percentage of myocardium with stress-induced perfusion defect that was adjacent to and larger than a scar. This parameter was compared with both the percent myocardium ischaemia (SD%) and the ischaemic total perfusion deficit (TPD). The diagnostic performance of CMR in detection of significant coronary artery stenosis (of ≥70%) was also determined.
Results: On SPECT imaging, in addition to peri-infarct ischaemia, reversible perfusion abnormalities were detected in a remote zone in seven patients. In the 33 patients presenting with only peri-infarct ischaemia, the agreement between CMR peri-infarct ischaemia and both SD% and ischaemic TPD was excellent [intraclass coefficient of correlation (ICC) = 0.969 and ICC = 0.877, respectively]. CMR-defined peri-infarct ischaemia for the detection of a significant coronary artery stenosis showed an areas under receiver-operating characteristic curve of 0.856 (95% confidence interval, 0.680-0.939). The best cut-off value was 8.1% and allowed a 72% sensitivity, 96% specificity, 60% negative predictive value and 97% positive predictive value.
Conclusion: This proof-of-concept study shows that CMR imaging has the potential as a test for quantification of peri-infarct ischaemia.
Advances in knowledge: This study demonstrates the proof of concept of a commonly known intuitive idea, that is, evaluating the peri-infarct ischaemic burden by subtracting delayed enhancement from first-pass perfusion imaging on CMR.