Intro: Delayed Enhancement Imaging (DEI) characterizes MI and predicts therapeutic efficacy following coronary revascularization, stem cell transplantation, or other procedures. Typically gadolinium-based (Gd) contrast agents are injected intravenously and accumulate in the lesion, differentiating between normal and diseased myocardium.
Traditionally, DEI has been explored using superconducting high-field MRI. Using a novel compact MRI at 1 Tesla, there is increased sensitivity to Gd-based contrast agents compared with higher-field MRI systems.
Hypothesis: In this study, DEI on a compact MRI system was employed with spatial intensity analysis to measure infarct size. Tagged cine MRI assessed myocardial strain using the HARP method. Post-mortem histology of Masson Trichrome staining estimated infarct size. Correlation analysis determined relationships between infarct size measured via DEI and histology.
Methods: C57BL/6 MI mice had ligation of the left anterior descending artery. Four sham control and five MI mice we imaged using compact MRI (ICON compact MRI, Billerica, MA) and monitored longitudinally over 21 days for infarct progression and cardiac function in vivo. DE imaging was performed 10-20 minutes post injection of 2 μL Gd contrast agent (ProHance, 0.5 mmol/ml). Images were acquired in short axis, 1 mm superior to the apex. Post-processing analysis (pcVirtue, Diagnosoft, Morrisville, NC) measured cardiac function and infarct size.
Results and Conclusions: Analyses of DEI data indicate an average infarct size of 24.85 +/- 15.09 % in the left ventricle. One week after MI induction, a much lower EF was observed in MI mice with respect to control (35.3 +/- 7.567% vs. 67.3 +/- 1.6 %), with a slight recovery of cardiac function in MI mice by week 3 (EF = 45.5 +/- 3.1%). Strain analysis also indicated significantly lower average peak strain in MI vs control mice (6.9 +/- 4.3 vs. 21.5 +/- 0.4 %).
Preliminary results demonstrate successful monitoring of cardiac function while performing DEI to visualize and quantify MI at 1 Tesla and leverage the benefits of the increased sensitivity of Gd-based contrast imaging with novel compact MRI. Such imaging and analysis techniques could be used to test efficacy of multiple therapeutic interventions.