First-pass perfusion CMR two days after infarction predicts severity of functional impairment six weeks later in the rat heart.
Stuckey DJ., Carr CA., Meader SJ., Tyler DJ., Cole MA., Clarke K.
BACKGROUND: In humans, dynamic contrast CMR of the first pass of a bolus infusion of Gadolinium-based contrast agent has become a standard technique to identify under-perfused regions of the heart and can accurately demonstrate the severity of myocardial infarction. Despite the clinical importance of this method, it has rarely been applied in small animal models of cardiac disease. In order to identify perfusion delays in the infarcted rat heart, here we present a method in which a T1 weighted MR image has been acquired during each cardiac cycle. METHODS AND RESULTS: In isolated perfused rat hearts, contrast agent infusion gave uniform signal enhancement throughout the myocardium. Occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery significantly reduced the rate of signal enhancement in anterior regions of the heart, demonstrating that the first-pass method was sensitive to perfusion deficits. In vivo measurements of myocardial morphology, function, perfusion and viability were made at 2 and 8 days after infarction. Morphology and function were further assessed using cine-MRI at 42 days. The perfusion delay was larger in rat hearts that went on to develop greater functional impairment, demonstrating that first-pass CMR can be used as an early indicator of infarct severity. First-pass CMR at 2 and 8 days following infarction better predicted outcome than cardiac ejection fraction, end diastolic volume or end systolic volume. CONCLUSION: First-pass CMR provides a predictive measure of the severity of myocardial impairment caused by infarction in a rodent model of heart failure.