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Background: Diagnosis and evaluation of cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) are mainly based on the combined use of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) and 18F fludeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG). Though these modalities can detect the pathological feature of the disease, combined assessment has not been fully examined. Multimodality image fusion is known to be useful for further comprehension, while most image interpretation is performed with a side by side comparison in clinical routine. We investigated the similarity and discrepancy of active inflammation, regional fibrosis, and wall function by image fusion of CMR and FDG. Methods: Patients with CS who underwent both CMR and FDG were retrospectively enrolled. The extent of myocardial late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) in left ventricle (LGE volume), cardiac function, and volume (left ventricular ejection fraction, LVEF; end-diastolic volume, EDV) was measured from CMR. The FDG uptake in whole myocardium (whole SUVmax), cardiac metabolic volume (CMV), and cardiac metabolic activity (CMA) was calculated from FDG. CMR and FDG were fused and divided into AHA 17 model for segmental analysis. Wall motion, the magnitude of LGE in myocardial wall (LGE%wall), and corresponding FDG uptake (segmental SUVmax) were analyzed. Results: Forty-one patients were retrospectively enrolled. In patients with FDG uptake, LVEF inversely correlated to LGE volume and positively correlated to SUVmax (r = − 0.56, p < 0.0001, and r = 0.08, p = 0.048, respectively). Discrepancy between LGE volume and CMV showed a significant positive correlation to whole SUVmax and CMA (r = 0.49, p < 0.0001, and r = 0.96, p < 0.0001, respectively). In image fusion analysis, segmental SUVmax showed a significant inverse correlation to LGE%wall (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient; r = − 0.15, p = 0.008). LGE%wall also showed significant inverse correlation to wall motion (r = − 0.13, p = 0.0011). Conclusion: Combined and fusion analysis with CMR and FDG demonstrated the discrepancy of myocardial inflammation and extensive fibrosis. Active inflammation was present in the earlier stage of myocardial fibrosis and was found to be less in the wall with advanced fibrosis and remodeling. Combined analysis of CMR and FDG can incrementally reclassify the pathological stage of CS.
Fukushima, K., Nagao, M., Yamamoto, A., Serizawa, N., Ishizaki, U., Suzuki, A., … Abe, K. (2019). Discrepancy between significant fibrosis and active inflammation in patients with cardiac sarcoidosis: combined and image fusion analysis of cardiac magnetic resonance and 18F fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography. European Journal of Hybrid Imaging, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41824-019-0056-4