High-resolution quantification of stress perfusion defects by cardiac magnetic resonance

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AIMS: Quantitative stress perfusion cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is becoming more widely available, but it is still unclear how to integrate this information into clinical decision-making. Typically, pixel-wise perfusion maps are generated, but diagnostic and prognostic studies have summarized perfusion as just one value per patient or in 16 myocardial segments. In this study, the reporting of quantitative perfusion maps is extended from the standard 16 segments to a high-resolution bullseye. Cut-off thresholds are established for the high-resolution bullseye, and the identified perfusion defects are compared with visual assessment.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty-four patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease were retrospectively analysed. Visual perfusion defects were contoured on the CMR images and pixel-wise quantitative perfusion maps were generated. Cut-off values were established on the high-resolution bullseye consisting of 1800 points and compared with the per-segment, per-coronary, and per-patient resolution thresholds. Quantitative stress perfusion was significantly lower in visually abnormal pixels, 1.11 (0.75-1.57) vs. 2.35 (1.82-2.9) mL/min/g (Mann-Whitney U test P < 0.001), with an optimal cut-off of 1.72 mL/min/g. This was lower than the segment-wise optimal threshold of 1.92 mL/min/g. The Bland-Altman analysis showed that visual assessment underestimated large perfusion defects compared with the quantification with good agreement for smaller defect burdens. A Dice overlap of 0.68 (0.57-0.78) was found.

CONCLUSION: This study introduces a high-resolution bullseye consisting of 1800 points, rather than 16, per patient for reporting quantitative stress perfusion, which may improve sensitivity. Using this representation, the threshold required to identify areas of reduced perfusion is lower than for segmental analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberqyae001
JournalEuropean Heart Journal – Imaging Methods and Practice
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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