The present study was intended to establish the feasibility, safety and usefulness of conventional spin-echo nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging for the detection of acute myocardial infarction within 24 hours of the onset of chest pain. Monitoring facilities were established in the NMR imaging suite that provided the same level of reliability and safety found in a standard coronary care unit. An imaging protocol was developed that allowed the acquisition of a complete study in 30 minutes while providing useful information about mechanical function and myocardial tissue contrast. Eighteen postthrombolysis patients were imaged within 21 ± 2 hours of chest pain onset. No patient developed recurrent chest pain or arrhythmias in the NMR imaging suite. Relatively T2-weighted spin-echo images (echo time = 60 ms; repetition time = heart rate) provided interpretable images in 16 patients. Fourteen normal subjects were imaged for comparison. Thirteen of 16 patients had an increase in signal intensity in the region of the infarction. Regional wall thickening was assessed using a floating endocardial centroid technique. Wall motion abnormalities detected by NMR corresponded to those noted by 2-dimensional echocardiography and contrast angiography. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy for the detection of infarction were 93,80 and 87%, respectively, when signal intensity and wall thickening abnormalities were combined. In summary, NMR imaging is feasible in patients with acute myocardial infarction within 24 hours of chest pain onset. The study can be conducted safely and it provides useful information about acute myocardial infarction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine