PURPOSE: The peri-infarct zone represents the morphologic substrate for reentry ventricular tachycardia after myocardial infarction, and its extent is a strong predictor of major cardiac events. Although delayed gadolinium enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (DGE-MRI) was shown to allow for detailed characterization of myocardial infarction by quantifying infarct core zone and peri-infarct zone volume, potentials of DGE-MRI for measuring changes in peri-infarct zone volume are unknown. Therefore, we aimed to assess changes in volume of the peri-infarct zone among patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy treated with chronic vasodilator therapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Core and peri-infarct zone volumes as assessed with DGE-MRI were measured in 5 patients at baseline and after 6 months treatment with sustained-release dipyridamole.
RESULTS: Core zone volume remained stable during follow-up [median (range), 19 mL (9 to 42) vs. 16 mL (11 to 46); P=0.785]. The ratio between the peri-infarct zone and the core zone volume decreased significantly at 6 months compared with baseline [median (range), 0.22 (0.19 to 0.42) vs. 0.18 (0.09 to 0.32); P=0.043], and a trend toward reduction in peri-infarct zone volume was found [median (range), 5 mL (2 to 8) vs. 3 mL (2 to 6); P=0.059]. The peri-infarct zone volume decreased in all but 1 patient over the follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: This initial experience suggests that reverse remodeling of the peri-infarct zone with reduction in peri-infarct zone volume may take place in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. Quantification of this process may be feasible with DGE-MRI, but further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis and to further clarify the role of DGE-MRI for the assessment of changes in peri-infarct zone volume in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy.