Myocarditis MRI

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Varun Kumar, M.B.B.S. Homa Najafi, M.D.[2]


Cardiac MRI is indicated in patients with new or persisting symptoms of chest pain and congestive heart failure, who have evidence of significant myocardial injury, in the absence of or in whom there is a low suspicion of coronary atherosclerosis. Cardiac MRI findings associated with myocarditis include myocardial inflammation, myocardial edema, capillary leak, and reduced left ventricular function. While the CMR pattern of gadolinium hyperenhancement in ST segment elevation myocardial infarction is transmural and extends from the endocardium to the epicardium, the patchy, non-segmental hyperenhancement pattern in myocarditis in contrast involves the epicardium and spares the subendocardium. CMR has a sensitivity of 76%, specificity of 95.5%, and overall diagnostic accuracy of 85% when any-two of the following three sequences are used, focal and global T2 signal intensity, myocardial global relative enhancement, and delayed gadolinium enhancement.

Findings on MRI

Sensitivity and Specificity

ACC/AHA Guidelines- ACCF/ACR/AHA/NASCI/SCMR 2010 Expert Consensus Document on Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance: Indications to Perform Cardiac MRI in the Patient with Suspected Myocarditis[8] (DO NOT EDIT)

CMR may be used for assessment of patients with LV dysfunction or hypertrophy or suspected forms of cardiac injury not related to ischemic heart disease. When the diagnosis is unclear, CMR may be considered to identify the etiology of cardiac dysfunction in patients presenting with heart failure, including


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  5. Al-Mallah M, Kwong RY (2009). "Clinical application of cardiac CMR". Rev Cardiovasc Med. 10 (3): 134–41. PMID 19898290.
  6. Skouri HN, Dec GW, Friedrich MG, Cooper LT (2006). "Noninvasive imaging in myocarditis". J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 48 (10): 2085–93. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2006.08.017. PMID 17112998.
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  8. American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Expert Consensus Documents. Hundley WG, Bluemke DA, Finn JP, Flamm SD, Fogel MA; et al. (2010). "ACCF/ACR/AHA/NASCI/SCMR 2010 expert consensus document on cardiovascular magnetic resonance: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Expert Consensus Documents". Circulation. 121 (22): 2462–508. doi:10.1161/CIR.0b013e3181d44a8f. PMC 3034132. PMID 20479157.

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