Background: In vivo cardiac diffusion tensor imaging (cDTI) is uniquely capable of interrogating laminar myocardial dynamics non-invasively. A comprehensive dataset of quantative parameters and comparison with subject anthropometrics is required.
Methods: cDTI was performed at 3T with a diffusion weighted STEAM sequence. Data was acquired from the mid left ventricle in 43 subjects during the systolic and diastolic pauses. Global and regional values were determined for fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), helix angle gradient (HAg, degrees/%depth) and the secondary eigenvector angulation (E2A). Regression analysis was performed between global values and subject anthropometrics.
Results: All cDTI parameters displayed regional heterogeneity. The RR interval had a significant, but clinically small effect on systolic values for FA, HAg and E2A. Male sex and increasing left ventricular end diastolic volume were associated with increased systolic HAg. Diastolic HAg and systolic E2A were both directly related to left ventricular mass and body surface area. There was an inverse relationship between E2A mobility and both age and ejection fraction.
Conclusions: Future interpretations of quantitative cDTI data should take into account anthropometric variations observed with patient age, body surface area and left ventricular measurements. Further work determining the impact of technical factors such as strain and SNR is required.