Multidetector CT (MDCT) is just as accurate as MRI in assessing myocardial infarct size--an important predictor of clinical outcome-- in an emergency setting according to a recent study conducted by researchers in collaboration between the VA Medical Center in San Francisco, CA and the University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France.
"The size of the infarct is one of the most important predictors of long-term left ventricular function in patients with an acute myocardial infarction," said Loic Boussel, MD, lead author of the study. "Imaging of myocardial infarct size is difficult in the emergency setting as the current 'gold standard' methods of delayed enhanced MRI and nuclear medicine techniques are difficult to perform in unstable patients. CT is very easy and quick to perform even at the acute phase so we wanted to find out if it can do the same job as MRI and potentially provide further information," he said.
The study included 19 patients with acute myocardial infarction who underwent delayed enhanced MDCT immediately after coronary angioplasty and underwent delayed enhanced MRI within eight days of angioplasty. The study showed that there was agreement between MRI and MDCT. MDCT had a sensitivity and specificity of 87.6% and 97.7% for the classification of the volume of the myocardial infarct when compared to MRI.
Dr. Boussel noted that MDCT did not require an additional contrast injection and is very practical in an emergency setting.
This study appears in the August issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.