Diagnostic performance of dark-blood T2-weighted CMR for evaluation of acute myocardial injury

Monvadi B. Srichai*, Ruth P. Lim, Narayan Lath, James Babb, Leon Axel, Daniel Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We compared the image quality and diagnostic performance of 2 fat-suppression methods for black-blood T2-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE), which are as follows: (a) short T1 inversion recovery (STIR; FSE-STIR) and (b) spectral adiabatic inversion recovery (SPAIR; FSE-SPAIR), for detection of acute myocardial injury. BACKGROUND: Edema-sensitive T2-weighted FSE cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is useful in detecting acute myocardial injury but may experience reduced myocardial signal and signal dropout. The SPAIR pulse aims to eliminate artifacts associated with the STIR pulse. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 65 consecutive patients referred for CMR evaluation of myocardial structure and function underwent FSE-STIR and FSE-SPAIR, in addition to cine and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) CMR. T2-weighted FSE images were independently evaluated by 2 readers for image quality and artifacts (Likert scale of 1-5; best-worst) and presence of increased myocardial signal suggestive of edema. In addition, clinical CMR interpretation, incorporating all CMR sequences available, was recorded for comparison. Diagnostic performance of each T2-weighted sequence was measured using recent (<30 days) troponin elevation greater than 2 times the upper limit of normal as the reference standard for acute myocardial injury. RESULTS: Of the 65 patients, there were 21 (32%) with acute myocardial injury. Image quality and artifact scores were significantly better with FSE-SPAIR compared with FSE-STIR (2.15 vs 2.68, P < 0.01; 2.62 vs 3.05, P < 0.01, respectively). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for acute myocardial injury were as follows: 29%, 93%, 67%, and 73% for FSE-SPAIR; 38%, 91%, 67%, and 75% for FSE-STIR; 71%, 98%, 94%, and 88% for clinical interpretation including LGE, T2, and wall motion. There was a statistically significant difference in sensitivity between the clinical interpretation and each of the T2-weighted sequences but not between each T2-weighted sequence. CONCLUSIONS: Although FSE-SPAIR demonstrated significantly improved image quality and decreased artifacts, isolated interpretations of each T2-weighted technique demonstrated high specificity but overall low sensitivity for the detection of myocardial injury, with no difference in accuracy between the techniques. However, real-world interpretation in combination with cine and LGE CMR methods significantly improves the overall sensitivity and diagnostic performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • acute chest pain
  • acute myocardial injury
  • cardiac magnetic resonance
  • myocardial edema
  • myocardial infarction
  • T2-weighted imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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