Objective To test the hypothesis that biomechanical changes are quantitatively related to morphological features of coronary arteries in heart transplant (HTx) recipients. Materials and methods With IRB approval, three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography and two-dimensional (2D) black-blood stead-state free precession (SSFP) MR imaging were performed to image coronary arteries of 36 HTx patients. Contours of coronary wall were manually drawn. For each coronary segment, coronary wall thickness, wall area, lumen area (in systole and diastole) were acquired. Coronary distensibility index (CDI) and the percent of the coronary wall occupying the vessel area (PWOV) were calculated. Results There are totally 98 coronary segments eligible for quantitative analysis from 27 HTx patients. The CDI is 4.90 ± 2.44 mmHg-1. The mean wall thickness is 1.49 ± 0.24 mm and the PWOV is 74.6% ± 7.5%. CDI has moderate correlations with wall thickness (r = -0.531, P < 0.001) and with PWOV (R = -0.435, P < 0.001). Conclusions Detected with coronary MR imaging, CDI is quantitatively correlated with the morphological features of the coronary artery in HTx patients. Coronary stiffness has the potential to become an alternative imaging biomarker for the quantitative assessment of the status of cardiac allografts.
- Coronary stiffness
- Heart transplantation
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging