The purpose of our study was to investigate whether cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging can detect early myocardial tissue edema as a first step in the development of myocarditis. METHODS: We examined 36 consecutive patients who were presented with symptoms of fatigue, weakness, and/or palpitations after respiratory tract infection but normal left ventricular function and compared these patients with 21 consecutive controls without acute symptoms. Electrocardiogram-triggered, T2-weighted, fast spin echo triple-inversion recovery sequences were performed in all patients. RESULTS: We found a significant difference between patients with suspected myocarditis and controls in global myocardial signal intensity. The ratio of global myocardial signal intensity/muscle signal intensity was 2.4 ± 0.3 in patients and 1.9 ± 0.3 in controls, which was highly significant (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with symptoms of fatigue, weakness, and/or palpitations after respiratory tract infection showed an elevated signal intensity of the myocardium, indicating edematous tissue, which may be the first step in the development of myocarditis.
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
- Respiratory tract viral infection
- Triple inversion recovery sequence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging