Pathological mechanism for delayed hyperenhancement of chronic scarred myocardium in contrast agent enhanced magnetic resonance imaging

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Objectives: To evaluate possible mechanism for delayed hyperenhancement of scarred myocardium by investigating the relationship of contrast agent (CA) first pass and delayed enhancement patterns with histopathological changes. Materials and Methods: Eighteen pigs underwent 4 weeks ligation of 1 or 2 diagonal coronary arteries to induce chronic infarction. The hearts were then removed and perfused in a Langendorff apparatus. The hearts firstly experienced phosphorus 31 MR spectroscopy. The hearts in group I (n = 9) and II (n = 9) then received the bolus injection of Gadolinium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (0.05 mmol/kg) and gadolinium-based macromolecular agent (P792, 15 mmol/kg), respectively. First pass T2* MRI was acquired using a gradient echo sequence. Delayed enhanced T1 MRI was acquired with an inversion recovery sequence. Masson's trichrome and anti- von Willebrand Factor (vWF) staining were performed for infarct characterization. Results: Wash-in of both kinds of CA caused the sharp and dramatic T2* signal decrease of scarred myocardium similar to that of normal myocardium. Myocardial blood flow and microvessel density were significantly recovered in 4-week-old scar tissue. Steady state distribution volume (ΔR1 relaxation rate) of Gd-DTPA was markedly higher in scarred myocardium than in normal myocardium, whereas ΔR1 relaxation rate of P792 did not differ significantly between scarred and normal myocardium. The ratio of extracellular volume to the total water volume was significantly greater in scarred myocardium than in normal myocardium. Scarred myocardium contained massive residual capillaries and dilated vessels. Histological stains indicated the extensively discrete matrix deposition and lack of cellular structure in scarred myocardium. Conclusions: Collateral circulation formation and residual vessel effectively delivered CA into scarred myocardium. However, residual vessel without abnormal hyperpermeability allowed Gd-DTPA rather than P792 to penetrate into extravascular compartment. Discrete collagen fiber meshwork and loss of cellularity enlarged extracellular space accessible to Gd-DTPA, resulting in the delayed hyper-enhanced scar. © 2014 Wang et al.




Wang, J., Xiang, B., Lin, H. Y., Liu, H., Freed, D., Arora, R. C., & Tian, G. (2014). Pathological mechanism for delayed hyperenhancement of chronic scarred myocardium in contrast agent enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. PLoS ONE, 9(5).

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