N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide as a Marker in Follow-Up Patients with Tetralogy of Fallot After Total Correction
PURPOSE To assess the utility of two different imaging directions in the evaluation of human right ventricular (RV) heart volumes and mass with MR imaging; to compare breath-hold vs. non-breath-hold imaging in volume analysis; and to compare turbo inversion recovery imaging (TIR) with gradient echo imaging in RV mass measurement. MATERIAL AND METHODS We examined 12 healthy volunteers (age 27-59 years). Breath-hold gradient echo MR imaging was performed in two imaging planes: 1) perpendicular to the RV inflow tract (RVIT view), and 2) in the transaxial view (TA view). The imaging was repeated in the TA view while the subjects were breathing freely. To analyze RV mass using TIR images, the RV was again imaged at end-diastole using the two views. The RV end-diastolic cavity (RVEDV) and muscle volume as well as end-systolic cavity volume (RVESV) were determined with the method of discs. All measurements were done blindly twice to assess repeatability of image analysis. To assess reproducibility of the measurements, 6 of the subjects were imaged twice at an interval of 5-9 weeks. RESULTS RVEDV averaged 133.2 ml, RVESV 61.5 ml and the RVmass 46.2 g in the RVIT view and 119.9 ml, 56.9 ml and 38.3 g in the TA view, respectively. The volumes obtained with breath-holding were slightly but not significantly smaller than the volumes obtained during normal breathing. There were no marked differences in the RV muscle mass obtained with gradient echo imaging compared to TIR imaging in either views. Repeatability of volume analysis was better in TA than RVIT view: the mean differences were 0.7 +/- 4.0 ml and - 5.4 +/- 14.0 ml in end-diastole and 1.6 +/- 3.1 ml and - 1.5 +/- 13.9 ml in end-systole, respectively. Repeatability of mass analysis was good in both TIR and cine images in the RVIT view but slightly better in TIR images: - 0.5 +/ -2.4 g compared to 0.8 +/- 2.9 g in cine images. Reproducibility of imaging was good, mean differences for RVEDV and RVESV were -1.0 +/- 4.8 ml and -0.8 +/- 2.8 ml, respectively. Mean difference for RVmass was -0.9 +/- 2.6 g. CONCLUSION The present study suggests that gradient echo MR imaging is well applicable to RV volume and mass measurements. The best imaging plane for volumetric analysis seems to be the TA plane and there was no significant difference between breath-hold and conventional imaging. To assess RV mass, we recommend RVIT view; the TIR sequence quickly produced images of better quality compared to gradient echo images but no significant difference between masses was found and repeatability of analysis was equally good with both methods.