Native T1 mapping in the diagnosis of cardiac allograft rejection: A prospective histologically validated study

Muhammad Imran, Louis Wang, Jane McCrohon, Chung Yu, Cameron Holloway, James Otton, Justyn Huang, Christian Stehning, Kirsten Jane Moffat, Joanne Ross, Valentina O Puntmann, Vassilios S Vassiliou, Sanjay Prasad, Eugene Kotlyar, Anne Keogh, Christopher Hayward, Peter Macdonald, Andrew Jabbour

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OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine the role of T1 mapping in identifying cardiac allograft rejection.

BACKGROUND: Endomyocardial biopsy (EMBx), the current gold standard to diagnose cardiac allograft rejection, is associated with potentially serious complications. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR)-based T1 mapping detects interstitial edema and fibrosis, which are important markers of acute and chronic rejection. Therefore, T1 mapping can potentially diagnose cardiac allograft rejection noninvasively.

METHODS: Patients underwent CMR within 24 h of EMBx. T1 maps were acquired at 1.5-T. EMBx-determined rejection was graded according to International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant (ISHLT) criteria.

RESULTS: Of 112 biopsies with simultaneous CMR, 60 were classified as group 0 (ISHLT grade 0), 35 as group 1 (ISHLT grade 1R), and 17 as group 2 (2R, 3R, clinically diagnosed rejection, antibody-mediated rejection). Native T1 values in patients with grade 0 biopsies and left ventricular ejection fraction >60% (983 ± 42 ms; 95% confidence interval: 972 to 994) were comparable to values in nontransplant healthy control subjects (974 ± 45 ms; 95% confidence interval: 962 to 987). T1 values were significantly higher in group 2 (1,066 ± 78 ms) versus group 0 (984 ± 42 ms; p = 0.0001) and versus group 1 (1,001 ± 54 ms; p = 0.001). After excluding patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate <50 ml/min/m2, there was a moderate correlation of log-transformed native T1 with high-sensitivity troponin T (r = 0.54, p < 0.0001) and pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (r = 0.67, p < 0.0001). Using a T1 cutoff value of 1,029 ms, the sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value were 93%, 79%, and 99%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Myocardial tissue characterization with T1 mapping displays excellent negative predictive capacity for the noninvasive detection of cardiac allograft rejection and holds promise to reduce substantially the EMBx requirement in cardiac transplant rejection surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1618-1628
Number of pages11
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number8
Early online date16 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • cardiac magnetic resonance
  • cardiac transplantation
  • CMR
  • EMBx
  • endomyocardial biopsy
  • T1 mapping

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