Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Hypoperfused Myocardium

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Schaefer S, Lange RA, Gutekunst DP, Parkey RW, Willerson JT, Peshock RM. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of hypoperfused myocardium. Invest Radiol 1991; 26:551-556.Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging can define myocardial perfusion defects due to acute coronary occlusion. However, since most clinically important diagnostic examinations involve coronary arteries with subtotal stenoses, we investigated the ability of MR imaging with a manganese contrast agent to detect perfusion abnormalities in a canine model of partial coronary artery stenosis. The contrast agent was administered after the creation of a partial coronary artery stenosis with the addition of the coronary vasodilator dipyridamole in six of 12 animals. The hearts were imaged ex situ using gradient reversal and spin-echo sequences, and images were analyzed to determine differences in signal intensity between hypoperfused and normally perfused myocardium. Comparison of MR images with regional blood flow and thallium-201 measurements showed good concordance of hypoperfused segments in those animals given dipyridamole, with 75% of the abnormal segments correctly identified. In those animals not given dipyridamole, 48% of segments were correctly identified. Thus, ex vivo MR imaging with a paramagnetic contrast enhancement can be used to detect acute regional myocardial perfusion abnormalities due to severe partial coronary artery stenoses.

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