2004 Volume 45 Issue 3 Pages 475-486
A whole-heart coverage MRI sequence, which employes a hybrid of fast gradient echo and echo planar acquisition imaging (FastCard EchoTrain), has recently been developed. Using this sequence, a first-pass myocardial perfusion MRI was shown to be a good noninvasive modality for detecting coronary artery disease (CAD) in a clinical setting. In addition, the clinical usefulness of delayed enhanced MRI has recently been reported. The objectives of this study were (1) to investigate the accuracy of dipyridamole stress first-pass myocardial perfusion MRI for diagnosing CAD (> 50% stenosis) and (2) to clarify whether additional delayed enhancement MRI has any clinical significance. We performed first-pass myocardial perfusion MRI in 102 consecutive patients (66 ± 9 years old) suspected to have CAD or new lesions in patients with well-documented prior myocardial infarction (MI). Using a 1.5 T cardiac MR imager (GE CV/i), eight short axis MR images of the left ventricle were acquired by injecting gadolinium (0.1 mmol/kg) under dipyridamole infusion stress (0.56 mg/kg). Fifteen minutes later, aminophylline (250 mg) was injected and first-pass perfusion MRI was repeated in the resting state in order to evaluate both the presence of perfusion defect and delayed enhancement. The presence of perfusion defect and delayed enhancement was determined based on a visual qualitative analysis by the agreement of two separate readers who were blinded to any clinical information. Based on the stress and rest findings, no defect, reversible defect, or fixed defect with or without delayed enhancement was recorded in any patient. The MR findings revealed 76 CAD patients, including 24 MI patients with new lesions and 26 patients without CAD on coronary angiography. The presence of stress perfusion defect had a 93% sensitivity and an 85% specificity for diagnosing CAD. A fixed defect showed an 86% sensitivity and a 66% specificity for diagnosing a prior MI. Patients with a fixed defect with delayed enhancement had more significant stenosis in the infarct related artery than in those without any enhancement (11/26 vs 15/20, P < 0.05).
Dipyridamole stress first-pass myocardial perfusion MRI using the FastCard EchoTrain was found to be a clinically useful and accurate modality for diagnosing CAD.