Subacute myocardial infarction: Assessment by STIR T2-weighted MR imaging in comparison to regional function

Stephan Miller*, Uwe Helber, Ulrich Kramer, Ulrich Hahn, James Carr, Norbert I. Stauder, Hans M. Hoffmeister, Claus D. Claussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: Increased T2 signal intensity (SI) can be regularly observed in myocardial infarction. However, there are controversial reports about the relationship of elevated T2 SI to myocardial viability and some authors propose that high T2 SI serves as a sign of irreversible myocardial injury. This study investigates increased T2 SI compared to myocardial function in patients with reperfused subacute myocardial infarction. Preserved function was used as criterion for viability, Methods: Ten healthy volunteers and 17 patients with myocardial infarction and patent infarct related coronary artery were examined on a 1.5 T Magnetom Vision system (Siemens). For T2-weighted MR imaging a breath-hold STIR sequence with dark-blood preparation was used. Cine FLASH 2D imaging was applied to assess myocardial function. Signal-to-noise (S/N) in STIR T2 images was measured in normal and infarcted regions and subsequently identified by two independent observers. Based on a 20 segment model of the left ventricle findings were compared to regional myocardial function. Results: Elevated STIR T2 SI was found in all 17 patients and observed in 27% (204/754) of segments. S/N of normal myocardium was 5.1 ± 0.7 in volunteers and 4.9 ± 0.8 in patients (P = NS). Infarcted myocardium presented with significantly increased S/N 12.8 ± 1.9 (P < 0.0001). Significant transmural elevation of T2 SI was noted in 32% of segments with preserved systolic function. Conclusion: Increased STIR T2 SI can be observed transmurally in post-ischemic myocardial regions with preserved function. It therefore cannot be used as an exclusive marker for the non-viable region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Edema
  • Inversion recovery
  • MR imaging
  • Myocardial function
  • Myocardial infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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