Delayed enhancement and T2-weighted cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging differentiate acute from chronic myocardial infarction


  • H. Abdel-Aty
  • A. Zagrosek
  • J. Schulz-Menger
  • A.J. Taylor
  • D. Messroghli
  • A. Kumar
  • M. Gross
  • R. Dietz
  • M.G. Friedrich


  • Circulation


  • Circulation 109 (20): 2411-2416


  • Background- Delayed enhancement (DE) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) detects acute and chronic myocardial infarction (MI) by visualizing contrast media accumulation in infarcted segments. T2-weighted CMR depicts infarct-related myocardial edema as a marker of acute but not chronic myocardial injury. We investigated the clinical utility of an approach combining both techniques to differentiate acute from chronic MI.
    Methods and Results- Seventy-three MI patients were studied in 2 groups. Group A consisted of 15 acute MI patients who were studied twice, on day 1 and 3 months after MI. In group B, 58 patients with acute or chronic MI underwent 1 CMR scan. T2-weighted and DE images of matched slices were acquired on a 1.5-T system. In group A, quantitative segmental and region of interest-based analyses were performed to observe signal changes between the acute and chronic phases. In group B, T2-weighted and DE images were examined visually by 2 blinded observers for the presence or absence of hyperintense areas in corresponding segments. For infarct localization, coronary angiography and/or ECG changes served as the reference standard. In group A, the contrast-to-noise ratio on T2-weighted images dropped in the infarcted segments from 2.7±1.1 on day 1 to 0.1±1.2 after 3 months (P<0.0001). There was no significant change in contrast-to-noise ratio in DE images (1.9±1.5 versus 1.3±1.0; P=NS). The qualitative assessment of T2-weighted and DE images in group B yielded a specificity of 96% to differentiate acute from chronic lesions.
    Conclusions- An imaging approach combining DE and T2-weighted CMR accurately differentiates acute from chronic MI.