Volume 17 Supplement 1

Abstracts of the 18th Annual SCMR Scientific Sessions

Open Access

Myocardial iron quantification using T2* and native T1mapping - a 250 patient study

  • Amna Abdel-Gadir1, 2,
  • Daniel Sado1,
  • Stuart Murch1,
  • Viviana Maestrini1,
  • Stefania Rosmini1,
  • Thomas A Treibel1, 2,
  • Marianna Fontana1, 2,
  • Heerajnarain Bulluck1, 2,
  • Stefan K Piechnik3,
  • Charlotte Manisty1,
  • Anna S Herrey1,
  • John Malcolm Walker2,
  • John Porter2 and
  • James Moon1, 2
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance201517(Suppl 1):P312


Published: 3 February 2015


The management of iron overload has been transformed by the use of T2* as a surrogate marker of cardiac iron loading. The presence of iron however not only changes T2*, but also T2 and T1. Recent advances make T1 mapping a possible complementary technique to T2*. Preliminary data are encouraging, but the relative advantages and disadvantages and optimal mathematical model for the relationship between T1 and T2* remain unknown.


This was a single centre prospective study of 250 patients (age 37 ± 13 years) referred with potential iron overload for T2* assessment, with 50 healthy volunteers (age 44 ± 11 years) as a reference comparison group. Each participant underwent short axis septal T2* (standard Siemens sequence using 8 different TE) at 1.5T and in addition myocardial T1 mapping (ShMOLLI sequence).


Image quality

27% of patients required more than one T2* acquisition to obtain optimal images for analysis compared with 12% for T1 mapping. ShMOLLI images were uninterpretable in 2 patients due to the presence of an MRI conditional pacemaker, and the positioning of a PORT-A-CATH implantable venous access system. It is known that some patients were unable to complete T2* sequences (21 heart beat scan), but these were not captured by the inclusion criteria of the study.

There was an exponential relationship between T1 and T2* across all patients and healthy volunteers (R2=0.71, p<0.001, figure 1). This was composed of a tight curvefit below T2* of 20ms (R2=0.83, p<0.001, figure 2A) and almost no correlation above 20ms (R2=0.07, figure 2B). The lower limit of normal (2SD below the mean) T1 from the healthy volunteers was 895ms. In patients with T2* above 20ms, T1 was normal in 55%, high in 1% and low in 44%.
Figure 1

Correlation between myocardial T2* and native T1 mapping measurements in patients (black dots) and healthy volunteers (green dots)

Figure 2

A: Correlation between myocardial T2* LESS than 20ms and native T1 mapping. B: Correlation between myocardial T2* GREATER than 20ms and native T1 mapping

The derived equivalent T1 cutpoints for published T2* cutoffs for mild, moderate and severe iron were 20ms (846ms); 14ms (705ms) and 10ms (636ms). If T1 is accurate for iron, then using the lower limit of normal for T1 (895ms) would suggest that the normal limit for T2* would be 29ms. However, of the 50 healthy volunteers, 8 (16%) had T2*s lower than this, possibly due to relatively lower precision of T2* measurements.


In potential cardiac iron overload, not all patients manage good image quality on the first breath-hold with either technique. Measured myocardial T1 and T2* are best modelled using an exponential curve fit but only correlate below a T2* of 20ms. T1 data suggests that the lower limit of normal T2* should be 29ms and thus far more patients have myocardial iron than is currently recognised - but such a high cutpoint for T2* would generate a poor specificity.


AAG is supported by a research grant from the Rosetrees Trust.

Authors’ Affiliations

The Heart Hospital Imaging Centre, UCLH
University College London
John Radcliffe Hospital


© Abdel-Gadir et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.