Protocol rules out coronary artery disease

August 1, 2004

University of Virginia cardiologists and radiologists have created a comprehensive cardiac MR exam that could help exclude coronary artery disease as the cause of newly diagnosed congestive heart failure.

University of Virginia cardiologists and radiologists have created a comprehensive cardiac MR exam that could help exclude coronary artery disease as the cause of newly diagnosed congestive heart failure.

The protocol features standard MR volume and functional analysis to quantify left ventricular size, delayed-enhancement MR imaging to uncover scarring associated with myocardial infarction, and coronary MR angiography to detect stenosis. Coronary MRA was performed with 3D, steady-state free precession, fast-suppressed, breath-hold imaging. Total exam time averaged 54 minutes.

Cardiologist Dr. Szilard Voros and colleagues at Virginia examined 14 patients who had no history of CAD before onset of CHF symptoms.

The preliminary study suggests that a comprehensive MR exam may help avoid coronary x-ray angiography for some patients. Based on evidence of delayed-enhancement and/or coronary MRA-identified lesions, six patients would have been referred for cardiac catheterization and eight would have been spared.