Strain-encoded cardiac magnetic resonance for the evaluation of chronic allograft vasculopathy in transplant recipients

Korosoglou G.
Osman N.F.
Dengler T.J.
Riedle N.
Steen H.
Lehrke S.
Giannitsis E.
Katus H.A.

The aim of our study was to investigate the ability of Strain-Encoded magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) in heart transplantation (HTx)-recipients. In consecutive subjects (n = 69), who underwent cardiac catheterization, MRI was performed for quantification of myocardial strain and perfusion reserve. Based on angiographic findings subjects were classified: group A including patients with normal vessels; group B, patients with stenosis <50%; and group C, patients with severe CAV (stenosis ≥ 50%). Significant correlations were observed between myocardial perfusion reserve with peak systolic strain (r = -0.53, p < 0.001) and with mean diastolic strain rate (r = 0.82, p < 0.001). Peak systolic strain and strain rate were significantly reduced only in group C, while mean diastolic strain rate and myocardial perfusion reserve were already reduced in group B and A. Myocardial perfusion reserve and mean diastolic strain rate had higher accuracy for the detection of CAV (AUC = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.87-0.99 and AUC = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.84-0.98, respectively) and followed peak systolic strain and strain rate (AUC = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.69-0.89 and AUC = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.67-0.87, respectively). Besides the quantification of myocardial perfusion, the estimation of the diastolic strain rate is a useful parameter for CAV assessment. In combination with the clinical evaluation, these parameters may be effective tools for the routine surveillance of HTx-recipients. © 2009 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.