Value of Fat Suppression in the MRI Evaluation of Suspected Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia

Suhny Abbara, Raymond Q. Migrino, David E. Sosnovik, Jeffrey A. Leichter, Thomas J. Brady, Godtfred Holmvang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) is characterized by intramyocardial fibrofatty change. Fat suppression performed during conventional spin-echo imaging has been used to confirm fatty infiltration. The utility of fat suppression for enhancing the interpretation of studies of suspected ARVD has not previously been formally tested. We investigated the value of fat suppression for enhancing the interpretation of intramyocardial fatty infiltration. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Twenty-six consecutive patients clinically referred for evaluation of possible ARVD underwent cardiac MRI. Two independent observers reviewed the images retrospectively. Intramyocardial areas (n = 101) that had increased signal intensity relative to normal surrounding myocardium on T1-weighted conventional spin-echo images ("index areas") were identified. The index areas were interpreted for presence of fatty infiltration using two sets of images: The first set was obtained without fat suppression, and the second set was obtained with fat suppression. Agreement between reviewers and confidence of interpretation were determined and compared. RESULTS. Interobserver agreement was measured using a 5-point scale: 1, definitely not fat; 2, probably not fat; 3, equivocal; 4, probably fat; and 5, definitely fat. The resulting kappa values were 0.35 for non-fat-suppressed images and 0.55 for fat-suppressed images. Interobserver kappa increased from 0.67 without fat suppression to 0.90 with fat suppression using a 3-point scale: 1, not fat; 2, equivocal; and 3, fat. Confidence in the diagnosis increased from 7.2 without fat suppression to 8.8 with fat suppression (p < 0.0001) on a 10-point scale ranging from 1, not confident, to 10, very confident. CONCLUSION. The use of fat-suppressed in addition to non-fat-suppressed conventional T1-weighted spin-echo imaging increased interobserver agreement and confidence in diagnosis and evaluation of intramyocardial fatty infiltration in patients who were suspected to have ARVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-591
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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