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Assessment of intramyocardial hemorrhage with dark-blood T2*-weighted cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

Abstract

Background

Intramyocardial hemorrhage (IMH) within myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with major adverse cardiovascular events. Bright-blood T2*-based cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has emerged as the reference standard for non-invasive IMH detection. Despite this, the dark-blood T2*-based CMR is becoming interchangeably used with bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR in both clinical and preclinical settings for IMH detection. To date however, the relative merits of dark-blood T2*-weighted with respect to bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR for IMH characterization has not been studied. We investigated the diagnostic capacity of dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR against bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR for IMH characterization in clinical and preclinical settings.

Materials and methods

Hemorrhagic MI patients (n = 20) and canines (n = 11) were imaged in the acute and chronic phases at 1.5 and 3 T with dark- and bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR. Imaging characteristics (Relative signal-to-noise (SNR), Relative contrast-to-noise (CNR), IMH Extent) and diagnostic performance (sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, area-under-the-curve, and inter-observer variability) of dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR for IMH characterization were assessed relative to bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR.

Results

At both clinical and preclinical settings, compared to bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR, dark-blood T2*-weighted images had significantly lower SNR, CNR and reduced IMH extent (all p < 0.05). Dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR also demonstrated weaker sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and inter-observer variability compared to bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR (all p < 0.05). These observations were consistent across infarct age and imaging field strengths.

Conclusion

While IMH can be visible on dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR, the overall conspicuity of IMH is significantly reduced compared to that observed in bright-blood T2*-weighted images, across infarct age in clinical and preclinical settings at 1.5 and 3 T. Hence, bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR would be preferable for clinical use since dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR carries the potential to misclassify hemorrhagic MIs as non-hemorrhagic MIs.

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