Background: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance serves as a useful tool in diagnosing myocarditis. Current adult protocols are yet to be validated for children; thus, it remains unclear if the methods used can be applied with sufficient image quality in children. This study assesses the use of cardiovascular magnetic resonance in children with suspected myocarditis.
Methods: Image data from clinical cardiovascular magnetic resonance studies performed in children enrolled in Mykke between June 2014 and April 2019 were collected and analysed. The quality of the data sets was evaluated using a four-point quality scale (4: excellent, 3: good, 2: moderate, 1: non-diagnostic).
Results: A total of 102 patients from 9 centres were included with a median age (interquartile range) of 15.4(10.7-16.6) years, 137 cardiovascular magnetic resonance studies were analysed. Diagnostic image quality was found in 95%. Examination protocols were consistent with the original Lake Louise criteria in 58% and with the revised criteria in 35%. Older patients presented with better image quality, with the best picture quality in the oldest age group (13-18 years). Sedation showed a negative impact on image quality in late gadolinium enhancement and oedema sequences. No such correlation was seen in cardiac function assessment sequences. In contrast to initial scans, in follow-up examinations, the use of parametric mapping increased while late gadolinium enhancement and oedema sequences decreased.
Conclusion: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance protocols for the assessment of adult myocarditis can be applied to children without significant constraints in image quality. Given the lack of specific recommendations for children, cardiovascular magnetic resonance protocols should follow recent recommendations for adult cardiovascular magnetic resonance.
Keywords: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; image quality; myocarditis; paediatrics; sedation.