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Pilz, Guenter; Klos, Markus; Ali, Eman; Hoefling, Berthold; Scheck, Roland; Bernhardt, Peter (2008): Angiographic correlations of patients with small vessel disease diagnosed by adenosine-stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. In: Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 10:8


Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) with adenosine-stress myocardial perfusion is gaining importance for the detection and quantification of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, there is little knowledge about patients with CMR-detected ischemia, but having no relevant stenosis as seen on coronary angiography (CA). The aims of our study were to characterize these patients by CMR and CA and evaluate correlations and potential reasons for the ischemic findings. 73 patients with an indication for CA were first scanned on a 1.5T whole-body CMR-scanner including adenosine-stress first-pass perfusion. The images were analyzed by two independent investigators for myocardial perfusion which was classified as subendocardial ischemia (n = 22), no perfusion deficit (n = 27, control 1), or more than subendocardial ischemia (n = 24, control 2). All patients underwent CA, and a highly significant correlation between the classification of CMR perfusion deficit and the degree of coronary luminal narrowing was found. For quantification of coronary blood flow, corrected Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) frame count (TFC) was evaluated for the left anterior descending (LAD), circumflex (LCX) and right coronary artery (RCA). The main result was that corrected TFC in all coronaries was significantly increased in study patients compared to both control 1 and to control 2 patients. Study patients had hypertension or diabetes more often than control 1 patients. In conclusion, patients with CMR detected subendocardial ischemia have prolonged coronary blood flow. In connection with normal resting flow values in CAD, this supports the hypothesis of underlying coronary microvascular impairment. CMR stress perfusion differentiates non-invasively between this entity and relevant CAD.