Background: Contrast-enhanced fast magnetic resonance (MR) images of acute, reperfused human infarcts demonstrate regions of hypoenhancement and hyperenhancement. The relations between the spatial extent and time course of these enhancement patterns to myocardial risk, infarct, and no-reflow regions have not been well characterized.
Methods and results: The proximal left anterior descending coronary artery was occluded in 11 closed-chest dogs for 90 minutes followed by 2 days of reperfusion. Regional blood flow was determined by use of radioactive microspheres. The animals were studied at the 2-day time point with contrast-enhanced fast MRI (Signa 1.5 T, General Electric). Thioflavin-S was administered to demarcate no-reflow regions. The hearts were then excised, sectioned into five base-to-apex slices, stained with 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC), and photographed under room light (for TTC) and ultraviolet light (for thioflavin). The spatial extents of thioflavin-negative, TTC-negative, and risk regions were compared planimetrically with MRI hypoenhanced and hyperenhanced regions. The spatial locations of subendocardial hypoenhancement in MR images correlated closely with those of thioflavin-negative regions. Microsphere blood flow in these regions was significantly reduced compared with remote regions (0.37 +/- 0.09 versus 0.88 +/- 0.10 mL/min per gram, respectively, P < .001) and with baseline (0.37 +/- 0.09 versus 0.87 +/- 0.15 mL/min per gram, P < .01). The spatial extent of hyperenhancement was smaller than the risk region (r = .64, slope = 0.48, P < .001) but highly correlated with TTC-negative regions and were, on average, 12% larger (r = .93, slope = 1.12, P = .035).
Conclusions: In contrast-enhanced MR images of 2-day-old reperfused canine infarcts, myocardial regions of hypoenhancement are related to the no-reflow phenomenon. Approximately 90% of the myocardium within hyperenhanced regions is nonviable.