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Aims: To determine how native myocardial T1 and extracellular volume (ECV) change with age, both to understand aging and to inform on normal reference ranges. Methods and results: Ninety-four healthy volunteers with no a history or symptoms of cardiovascular disease or diabetes underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance at 1.5 T. Mid-ventricular short axis native and post-contrast T1 maps by Shortened MOdified Look-Locker Inversion-recovery (ShMOLLI), MOdified Look-Locker Inversion Recovery (MOLLI) [pre-contrast: 5s(3s)3s, post-contrast: 4s(1s)3s(1s)2s] and saturation recovery single-shot acquisition (SASHA) were acquired and ECV by these three techniques were derived for the mid anteroseptum. Mean age was 50 ± 14 years (range 20-76), male 52%, with no age difference between genders (males 51 ± 14 years; females 49 ± 15 years, P = 0.55). Quoting respectively ShMOLLI, MOLLI, SASHA throughout, mean myocardial T1 was 957 ± 30 ms, 1025 ± 38 ms, 1144 ± 45 ms (P < 0.0001) and ECV 28.4 ± 3.0% [95% confidence interval (CI) 27.8-29.0], 27.3 ± 2.7 (95% CI 26.8-27.9), 24.1 ± 2.9% (95% CI 23.5-24.7) (P < 0.0001), with all values higher in females for all techniques (T1 +18 ms, +35 ms, +51 ms; ECV +2.7%, +2.6%, +3.4%). Native myocardial T1 reduced slightly with age (R2 = 0.042, P = 0.048; R2 = 0.131, P < 0.0001-on average by 8-11 ms/decade-but not for SASHA (R2 = 0.033 and P = 0.083). ECV did not change with age (R2 = 0.003, P = 0.582; R2 = 0.002, P = 0.689; R2 = 0.003, P = 0.615). Heart rate decreased slightly with age (R2 = 0.075, coefficient = -0.273, P = 0.008), but there was no relationship between age and other blood T1 influences (haematocrit, iron, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol). Conclusion: Gender influences native T1 and ECV with women having a higher native T1 and ECV. Native T1 measured by MOLLI and ShMOLLI was slightly lower with increasing age but not with SASHA and ECV was independent of age for all techniques.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging

Publication Date





615 - 621


Adult, Aging, Body Surface Potential Mapping, Confidence Intervals, Contrast Media, Female, Healthy Aging, Heart, Humans, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardium, Phantoms, Imaging, Predictive Value of Tests, Sex Factors