Contrast-Enhanced Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Right Ventricular Infarction

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Objectives: We assessed the role of late enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (LE-CMR) for the diagnosis of right ventricular infarction (RVI). Background: Right ventricular infarction occurs in about one-half of patients with inferior myocardial infarction (MI). It is associated with an unfavorable prognosis, but established methods often lack the diagnostic accuracy to detect it. Late enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging accurately detects left ventricular MI. Methods: Thirty-seven patients with acute inferior MI were included. To test for RVI, they prospectively underwent a physical examination, an electrocardiogram (ECG) for ST-segment elevation in the V4r right precordial lead, and an echocardiogram. After coronary reperfusion, LE-CMR was performed for assessing presence and extent of late enhancement in the right ventricular (RV) wall. The LE-CMR data were compared with the other results; interobserver variability was assessed. The LE-CMR was repeated after 13 months. Results: Late enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging detected RVI in 21 of 37 (57%) patients with acute inferior MI. Interobserver variability was very good (kappa 0.83); physical exam was positive for RVI in 7 of 37 (19%) patients, V4r ECG in 13 of 37 (35%) patients, and echocardiogram in 6 of 37 (16%) patients. The LE-CMR findings for RVI showed only mild agreement with findings for RVI on physical exam (kappa 0.30), V4r ECG (kappa 0.38), and echocardiography (kappa 0.32). Irreversible injury of the RV persisted at 13 months (kappa 0.85). Conclusions: In patients with acute inferior MI, RVI is more frequently detected by LE-CMR than by current standard diagnostic techniques. Further CMR studies might allow for analyzing its clinical and prognostic relevance. © 2006 American College of Cardiology Foundation.




Kumar, A., Abdel-Aty, H., Kriedemann, I., Schulz-Menger, J., Gross, C. M., Dietz, R., & Friedrich, M. G. (2006). Contrast-Enhanced Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Right Ventricular Infarction. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 48(10), 1969–1976.

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