Magnetic resonance imaging-defined areas of microvascular obstruction after acute myocardial infarction represent microvascular destruction and haemorrhage

L.F.H.J. Robbers, E.S. Eerenberg, P.F.A. Teunissen, M.F. Jansen, M.R. Hollander, A.J.G. Horrevoets, P. Knaapen, R. Nijveldt, M.W. Heijmans, M.M. Levi, A.C. van Rossum, H.W.M. Niessen, C.B. Marcu, A.M. Beek, N. van Royen, Martijn W. Heymans

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AIMS: Lack of gadolinium-contrast wash-in on first-pass perfusion imaging, early gadolinium-enhanced imaging, or late gadolinium-enhanced (LGE) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging after revascularized ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is commonly referred to as microvascular obstruction (MVO). Additionally, T2-weighted imaging allows for the visualization of infarct-related oedema and intramyocardial haemorrhage (IMH) within the infarction. However, the exact histopathological correlate of the contrast-devoid core and its relation to IMH is unknown.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In eight Yorkshire swine, the circumflex coronary artery was occluded for 75 min by a balloon catheter. After 7 days, CMR with cine imaging, T2-weighted turbospinecho, and LGE was performed. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance images were compared with histological findings after phosphotungstic acid-haematoxylin and anti-CD31/haematoxylin staining. These findings were compared with CMR findings in 27 consecutive PCI-treated STEMI patients, using the same scanning protocol. In the porcine model, the infarct core contained extensive necrosis and erythrocyte extravasation, without intact vasculature and hence, no MVO. The surrounding-gadolinium-enhanced-area contained granulation tissue, leucocyte infiltration, and necrosis with morphological intact microvessels containing microthrombi, without erythrocyte extravasation. Areas with IMH (median size 1.92 [0.36-5.25] cm(3)) and MVO (median size 2.19 [0.40-4.58] cm(3)) showed close anatomic correlation [intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) 0.85, r = 0.85, P = 0.03]. Of the 27 STEMI patients, 15 had IMH (median size 6.60 [2.49-9.79] cm(3)) and 16 had MVO (median size 4.31 [1.05-7.57] cm(3)). Again, IMH and MVO showed close anatomic correlation (ICC 0.87, r = 0.93, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The contrast-devoid core of revascularized STEMI contains extensive erythrocyte extravasation with microvascular damage. Attenuating the reperfusion-induced haemorrhage may be a novel target in future adjunctive STEMI treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2346-2353
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Heart journal
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

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