Role of spin echo and cine magnetic resonance imaging in presurgical planning of heterotaxy syndrome: Comparison with echocardiography and catheterization

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BACKGROUND: Patients with heterotaxy syndrome frequently have complex congenital cardiac and noncardiac malformations requiring detailed diagnostic evaluation by noninvasive as well as invasive imaging modalities for management planning. Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques allow detailed delineation of cardiovascular anatomy and blood flow in young infants with rapid heart rates. The present study was undertaken to prospectively evaluate the role of MRI in the presurgical evaluation of patients with heterotaxy syndrome. METHODS AND RESULTS: Between January 1 and December 31, 1992, 14 consecutive patients with heterotaxy syndrome and complex congenital heart disease were enrolled in a prospective protocol. After evaluation by echocardiography and cardiac catheterization, a tentative management plan was recorded. Subsequently, a MRI study was performed and surgical planning was reevaluated. MRI was found to be comparable to echocardiography in terms of length of examination and sedation requirements. Surgical planning was altered in four patients because MRI provided additional data not evident on echocardiography and catheterization. Comparison of diagnostic yield between echocardiography, catheterization, and MRI showed that MRI is superior to echocardiography and often to catheterization in delineation of systemic and pulmonary venous anatomy and their relation to mediastinal structures. When the anatomic and hemodynamic data obtained by echocardiography and MRI were considered together, cardiac catheterization data were necessary only to determination of pulmonary vascular resistance before Fontan operation. CONCLUSIONS: MRI provides excellent anatomic and functional information that in some patients was not available by echocardiography or catheterization. Combined with echocardiography, MRI provides the high-quality diagnostic information necessary for management planning in most patients with heterotaxy syndrome. Cardiac catheterization is indicated when determination of pulmonary vascular resistance is necessary for decision making or when an interventional procedures is indicated.




Geva, T., Vick, G. W., Wendt, R. E., & Rokey, R. (1994). Role of spin echo and cine magnetic resonance imaging in presurgical planning of heterotaxy syndrome: Comparison with echocardiography and catheterization. Circulation, 90(1), 348–356.

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