Post-contrast myocardial T1 and ECV disagree in a longitudinal canine study

Matthias Koopmann, Kyungpyo Hong, Eugene G. Kholmovski, Eric C. Huang, Nan Hu, Jian Ying, Richard Levenson, Sathya Vijayakumar, Derek J. Dosdall, Ravi Ranjan, Daniel Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Both post-contrast myocardial T1 and extracellular volume (ECV) measurements have been associated with diffuse interstitial fibrosis. The cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) field is migrating towards ECV, because it is largely insensitive to confounders that affect post-contrast myocardial T1. Despite the theoretical advantages of myocardial ECV over post-contrast myocardial T1, systematic experimental studies comparing the two measurements are largely lacking. We sought to measure the temporal changes in post-contrast myocardial T1 and ECV in an established canine model with chronic atrial fibrillation. Seventeen mongrel dogs, implanted with a pacemaker to induce chronic atrial fibrillation via rapid atrial pacing, were scanned multiple times for a total of 46 CMR scans at 3T. These dogs with different disease durations (0-22 months) were part of a separate longitudinal study aimed at studying the relationship between AF and pathophysiology. In each animal, we measured native and post-contrast T1 values and hematocrit. Temporal changes in post-contrast myocardial T1 and ECV, as well as other CMR parameters, were modeled with linear mixed effect models to account for repeated measurements over disease duration. In 17 animals, post-contrast myocardial T1 decreased significantly from 872 to 698 ms (p < 0.001), which corresponds to a 24.9% relative reduction. In contrast, ECV increased from 21.0 to 22.0% (p = 0.38), which corresponds to only a 4.5% relative increase. To partially investigate this discrepancy, we quantified collagen volume fraction (CVF) in post-mortem heart tissues of six canines sacrificed at different disease durations (0-22 months). CVF quantified by histology increased from 0.9 to 1.9% (p = 0.56), which agrees better with ECV than with post-contrast myocardial T1. This study shows that post-contrast myocardial T1 and ECV may disagree in a longitudinal canine study. A more comprehensive study, including histologic, cardiac, and renal functional analyses, is warranted to test rigorously which CMR parameter (ECV or post-contrast myocardial T1) agrees better with CVF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-995
Number of pages8
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Collagen volume fraction
  • Diffuse myocardial fibrosis
  • Extracellular volume fraction
  • Heart failure
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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