Feasibility of real-time cine cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to predict the presence of significant retrosternal adhesions prior to redo-sternotomy

Riad Abou Zahr, Vasu Gooty, Animesh Tandon, Gerald Greil, Timothy Pirolli, Ryan Davies, Robert Jaquiss, Claudio Ramaciotti, Tarique Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Injury to vital structures posterior to the sternum is a complication associated with redo sternotomy in congenital cardiac surgery. The goal of our study was a novel evaluation of real-time cine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) to predict the presence of significant retrosternal adhesions of cardiac and vascular structures prior to redo sternotomy in patients with congenital heart disease. Methods: Twenty-three patients who had prior congenital heart surgery via median sternotomy had comprehensive CMR studies prior to redo sternotomy. The real time cine (RTC) sequence that was used is an ungated balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) sequence using SENSitivity Encoding for acceleration with real-time reconstruction. Spontaneously breathing patients were instructed to take deep breaths during the acquisition whilst increased tidal volumes were delivered to mechanically ventilated patients. All patients underwent redo cardiac surgery subsequently and the presence and severity of retrosternal adhesions were noted at the time of the redo sternotomies. Results: Median age at the time of CMR and operation were 5.5 years (range, 0.2-18.4y) and 6.1 years (range, 0.3-18.8y) respectively. There were 15 males and 8 females in the study group. Preoperative retrosternal adhesions were identified on RTC in 13 patients and confirmed in 11 (85%) at the time of surgery. In only 2 patients, no adhesions were identified on CMR but were found to have significant retrosternal adhesions at surgery; false positive rate 15% (CI 0.4-29.6%), false negative rate 20% (CI 3.7-36.4%). The total classification error of the real time cine sequence was 17% (CI 1.7-32.4%) with an overall accuracy of 83% (CI 67.7-98.4%). Standard breath-hold cine images correlated poorly with surgical findings and did not increase the diagnostic yield. Conclusions: RTC imaging can predict the presence of significant retrosternal adhesions and thus help in risk assessment prior to redo sternotomy. These findings complement the surgical planning and potentially reduce surgical complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number67
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 31 2019


  • Real-time cine
  • Redo sternotomy
  • Retrosternal adhesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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