The aim of this work is to investigate and compare cardiac proton density (PD) weighted fast field echo (FFE) post-mortem magnetic resonance (PMMR) imaging with standard cardiac PMMR imaging (T1-weighted and T2-weighted turbo spin-echo (TSE)), postmortem CT (PMCT) as well as autopsy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Two human cadavers sequentially underwent cardiac PMCT and PMMR imaging (PD-weighted FFE, T1-weighted and T2-weighted TSE) and autopsy. The cardiac PMMR images were compared to each other as well as to PMCT and autopsy findings.
For the first case, cardiac PMMR exhibited a focal region of low signal in PD-weighted FFE and T2-weighted TSE images, surrounded by a signal intense rim in the T2-weighted images. T1-weighted TSE and PMCT did not appear to identify any focal abnormality. Macroscopic inspection identified a blood clot; histology confirmed this to be a thrombus with an adhering myocardial infarction. In the second case, a myocardial rupture with heart tamponade was identified in all PMMR images, located at the anterior wall of the left ventricle; PMCT excluded additional ruptures. In PD-weighted FFE and T2-weighted TSE images, it occurred hypo-intense, while resulting in small clustered hyper-intense spots in T1-weighted TSE. Autopsy confirmed the PMMR and PMCT findings.
Presented initial results have shown PD-weighted FFE to be a valuable imaging sequence in addition to traditional T2-weighted TSE imaging for blood clots and myocardial haemorrhage with clearer contrast between affected and healthy myocardium.