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Myocardium at risk with contrast enhanced SSFP compared to myocardial perfusion SPECT


Final infarct size following coronary occlusion is determined by the duration of ischemia, the size of myocardium at risk (MaR) and reperfusion injury. The reference method for determining MaR, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging before reperfusion, is impractical in an acute setting.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether MaR can be determined from the contrast enhanced myocardium on steady-state free precession (SSFP) performed one week after the acute event in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).


Sixteen patients with STEMI (age 64 ± 8 years) received intravenous 99 m-Tc immediately before primary percutaneous coronary intervention. A SPECT investigation was performed within four hours. MaR was defined as the non-perfused myocardial volume on SPECT. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed 7.8 ± 1.2 days after the myocardial infarction using a protocol in which the contrast agent was administered before acquisition of short-axis cine images. MaR was evaluated as the contrast enhanced myocardial volume in cine SSFP by two blinded observers.


MaR determined from the enhanced region on cine SSFP correlated significantly with that derived with SPECT (r2 = 0.78, p < 0.001). The difference in MaR determined by MRI and SPECT was 0.5 ± 5.1% (mean ± SD). The interobserver variability of contrast enhanced cine SSFP measurements was 1.6 ± 3.7% (mean ± SD) of the left ventricle wall volume Figures 1 and 2.

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Figure 1

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Figure 2


This study suggests that contrast enhanced cine SSFP performed one week after reperfusion can serve as a novel imaging method to quantify MaR as it was before reperfusion.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Sorensson, P., Heiberg, E., Saleh, N. et al. Myocardium at risk with contrast enhanced SSFP compared to myocardial perfusion SPECT. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 12 (Suppl 1), P119 (2010).

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