Can Native T1 Mapping Differentiate between Healthy and Diffuse Diseased Myocardium in Clinical Routine Cardiac MR Imaging?

T1 mapping allows quantitative myocardial assessment, but its value in clinical routine remains unclear. We investigated, whether the average native myocardial T1 value can be used as a diagnostic classifier between healthy and diffuse diseased myocardium.

Native T1 mapping was performed in 54 persons with healthy hearts and in 150 patients with diffuse myocardial pathologies (coronary artery disease (CAD): n = 76, acute myocarditis: n = 19, convalescent myocarditis: n = 26, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM): n = 12, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM): n = 17) at 1.5 Tesla in a mid-ventricular short axis slice using a modified Look-Locker inversion recovery (MOLLI) sequence. The average native myocardial T1 value was measured using dedicated software for each patient. The mean as well as the range of the observed average T1 values were calculated for each group, and compared using t-test. The ability of T1 mapping to differentiate between healthy and diffuse diseased myocardium was assessed using receiver operating characteristic analysis (ROC).

The mean T1 value of the group “healthy hearts” (955±34ms) differed significantly from that of the groups DCM (992±37ms, p<0.001), HCM (980±44ms, p = 0.035), and acute myocarditis (974±36ms, p = 0.044). No significant difference was observed between the groups “healthy hearts” and CAD (951±37ms, p = 0.453) or convalescent myocarditis (965±40ms, p = 0.240). The average native T1 value varied considerably within all groups (range: healthy hearts, 838-1018ms; DCM, 882-1034ms; HCM, 897-1043ms; acute myocarditis, 925-1025ms; CAD, 867-1082ms; convalescent myocarditis, 890-1071ms) and overlapped broadly between all groups. ROC analysis showed, that the average native T1 value does not allow for differentiating between healthy and diffuse diseased myocardium, except for the subgroup of DCM.

The average native T1 value in cardiac MR imaging does not allow differentiating between healthy and diffusely diseased myocardium in individual cases.


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