Utility of late gadolinium enhancement in pediatric cardiac MRI

Maryam Etesami, Robert C. Gilkeson, Prabhakar Rajiah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequence is increasingly used in the evaluation of pediatric cardiovascular disorders, and although LGE might be a normal feature at the sites of previous surgeries, it is pathologically seen as a result of extracellular space expansion, either from acute cell damage or chronic scarring or fibrosis. LGE is broadly divided into ischemic and non-ischemic patterns. LGE caused by myocardial infarction occurs in a vascular distribution and always involves the subendocardial portion, progressively involving the outer regions in a waveform pattern. Non-ischemic cardiomyopathies can have a mid-myocardial (either linear or patchy), subepicardial or diffuse subendocardial distribution. Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy can have a linear mid-myocardial pattern, while hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can have fine, patchy enhancement in hypertrophied and non-hypertrophied segments as well as right ventricular insertion points. Myocarditis and sarcoidosis have a mid-myocardial or subepicardial pattern of LGE. Fabry disease typically affects the basal inferolateral segment while Danon disease typically spares the septum. Pericarditis is characterized by diffuse or focal pericardial thickening and enhancement. Thrombus, the most common non-neoplastic cardiac mass, is characterized by absence of enhancement in all sequences, while neoplastic masses show at least some contrast enhancement, depending on the pathology. Regardless of the etiology, presence of LGE is associated with a poor prognosis. In this review, we describe the technical modifications required for performing LGE cardiac MR sequence in children, review and illustrate the patterns of LGE in children, and discuss their clinical significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1096-1113
Number of pages18
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Children
  • Gadolinium
  • Heart
  • Late gadolinium enhancement
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Myocardium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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