PURPOSE: To determine whether T2* measurements quantifying myocardial iron overload in thalassemia patients are influenced by myocardial fibrosis and blood oxygenation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Multislice multiecho T2* was performed in 94 thalassemia patients in order to quantify myocardial iron overload. The left ventricle was automatically segmented into a 16-segment standardized heart model, and the T2* value on each segment as well as the global T2* were calculated. Delayed enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DE-CMR) images were obtained to detect myocardial fibrosis. The blood oxygenation was assessed by the noninvasive measurement of partial pressure of oxygen (pO2). RESULTS: Myocardial fibrosis was detected in 31 patients (33%). The global T2* value in patients with fibrosis was comparable with that of patients without fibrosis (P = 0.88) and T2* values in segments with fibrosis were comparable with those in segments without fibrosis (P = 0.83). The global T2* value was not correlated with the pO2 (Spearman's coefficient of correlation = 0.99). CONCLUSION: Myocardial fibrosis and blood oxygenation did not significantly affect the T2* values. These data further support the use of heart T2* as equivalent of heart iron in the clinical arena.
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging