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Diagnostic Contribution of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome and Culprit-Free Angiograms

Damian Kawecki, Beata Morawiec, Pierre Monney, Cyril Pellaton, Celina Wojciechowska, Joanna Jojko, Marcin Basiak, Brygida Przywara-Chowaniec, Stephane Fournier, Ewa Nowalany-Kozielska, Juerg Schwitter, Olivier Muller

2nd Department of Cardiology, Silesian Medical University, Zabrze, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:171-180

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.892296

Available online:

Published: 2015-01-14

Background: In spite of robust knowledge about underlying ischemic myocardial damage, acute coronary syndromes (ACS) with culprit-free angiograms raise diagnostic concerns. The present study aimed to evaluate the additional value of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) over commonly available non-CMR standard tests, for the differentiation of myocardial injury in patients with ACS and non-obstructed coronary arteries.
Material and Methods: Patients with ACS, elevated hs-TnT, and a culprit-free angiogram were prospectively enrolled into the study between January 2009 and July 2013. After initial evaluation with standard tests (ECG, echocardiography, hs-TnT) and provisional exclusion of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in coronary angiogram, patients were referred for CMR with the suspicion of myocarditis or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC). According to the result of CMR, patients were reclassified as having myocarditis, AMI, TTC, or non-injured myocardium as assessed by late gadolinium enhancement.
Results: Out of 5110 patients admitted with ACS, 75 had normal coronary angiograms and entered the study; 69 of them (92%) were suspected for myocarditis and 6 (8%) for TTC. After CMR, 49 patients were finally diagnosed with myocarditis (65%), 3 with TTC (4%), 7 with AMI (9%), and 16 (21%) with non-injured myocardium. The provisional diagnosis was changed or excluded in 23 patients (31%), with a 9% rate of unrecognized AMI.
Conclusions: The study results suggest that the evaluation of patients with ACS and culprit-free angiogram should be complemented by a CMR examination, if available, because the initial work-up with non-CMR tests leads to a significant proportion of misdiagnosed AMI.

Keywords: Cardiology - methods, Adult, Acute Coronary Syndrome - pathology, Cell Differentiation, Coronary Angiography - methods, Coronary Vessels - pathology, Electrocardiography - methods, Gadolinium - chemistry, Magnetic Resonance Imaging - methods, Myocarditis - pathology, Myocardium - pathology, Prospective Studies, Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy - pathology, Troponin - metabolism, young adult