The size of a myocardial infarction (MI) and the concurrent effect on left ventricular (LV) function are essential for decisions regarding patient care and treatment. Images produced with the late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) technique visualize the scar with high spatial resolution. The general aim of this thesis was to study methods to assess scar size in chronic MI, primarily with the use of LGE, and to relate area‐at‐risk and LV function to scar size.
Myocardial perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (MPS) is a well established technique for the assessment of MI size. Our study showed that there is a fairly good agreement between MPS and LGE in the determination of scar size. Wall motion score index (WMSI) correlated moderately with both infarct size and infarct extent determined with LGE.
Manual delineation of myocardium and scar is time consuming and subjective and there is a need for help in objective assessment. We showed that the semi‐automatic computer software, Segment, reduced the evaluation time ≥50% with maintained clinical accuracy.
The segmented scar sequence ‐ inversion recovery fast gradient echo, IR_FGRE, is a well documented sequence for scar determination, however, the sequence requires regular heart rhythm and breath holding for good imaging. We showed that a single shot scar sequence ‐ steady state free precession, SS_SSFP ‐ acquired under free breathing in patients with ongoing atrial fibrillation, had significantly better image quality than IR_FGRE. The scar size and the error of determination were equal for both sequences and the examination time was shorter with SS_SSFP.
In an acute MI it is essential to know the myocardial area‐at‐risk. WMSI is clinically the most common way of assessing LV function, but is highly subjective. Tissue Doppler imaging with strain measurements is considered objective and quantitative in assessing both global and regional LV function compared to WMSI. Our results showed that WMSI is superior to strain for the detection of scar with transmurality ≥50% in patients with acute MI. Also WMSI correlated better than strain on all levels (global, regional, segmental) with final scar size determined with LGE.
LGE images visualize myocardial scar much more distinctly than any other modality. This new technique needs clinical validation but promises intense competition with existing modalities such as myocardial scintigraphy and echocardiography.
However, in individual patient care all modalities should be used according to their own advantages and limitation.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2010. , 85 p.
2010-03-26, Originalet, Qulturum, Hus B4, Länssjukhuset Ryhov, Jönköping, 09:00 (Swedish)