The influence of microvascular injury on native T1 and T2* relaxation values after acute myocardial infarction: implications for non-contrast-enhanced infarct assessment

Lourens F.H.J. Robbers, Robin Nijveldt, Aernout M. Beek, Paul F.A. Teunissen, Maurits R. Hollander, P. Stefan Biesbroek, Henk Everaars, Peter M. van de Ven, Mark B.M. Hofman, Niels van Royen, Albert C. van Rossum

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Objectives: Native T1 mapping and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging offer detailed characterisation of the myocardium after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We evaluated the effects of microvascular injury (MVI) and intramyocardial haemorrhage on local T1 and T2* values in patients with a reperfused AMI. Methods: Forty-three patients after reperfused AMI underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) at 4 [3-5] days, including native MOLLI T1 and T2* mapping, STIR, cine imaging and LGE. T1 and T2* values were determined in LGE-defined regions of interest: the MI core incorporating MVI when present, the core-adjacent MI border zone (without any areas of MVI), and remote myocardium. Results: Average T1 in the MI core was higher than in the MI border zone and remote myocardium. However, in the 20 (47%) patients with MVI, MI core T1 was lower than in patients without MVI (MVI 1048±78ms, no MVI 1111±89ms, p=0.02). MI core T2* was significantly lower in patients with MVI than in those without (MVI 20 [18-23]ms, no MVI 31 [26-39]ms, p<0.001). Conclusion: The presence of MVI profoundly affects MOLLI-measured native T1 values. T2* mapping suggested that this may be the result of intramyocardial haemorrhage. These findings have important implications for the interpretation of native T1 values shortly after AMI. Key points: • Microvascular injury after acute myocardial infarction affects local T1 and T2* values. • Infarct zone T1 values are lower if microvascular injury is present. • T2* mapping suggests that low infarct T1 values are likely haemorrhage. • T1 and T2* values are complimentary for correctly assessing post-infarct myocardium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Radiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance imaging
  • Microvascular injury
  • T1 mapping
  • T2* mapping

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