Myocardial edema

Last revised by Joachim Feger on 1 Dec 2023

Myocardial edema refers to an increased water content of the myocardium particularly within the extracellular interstitium 1.

Myocardial edema often reflects an acute or subacute cardiac event, most often either ischemic or inflammatory and thus can be associated with chest pain or signs of cardiac insufficiency.

Myocardial edema develops as a result of a dysbalance between the microvascular fluid filtration and the removal via a network of lymphatic capillaries from the myocardial interstitium 1,2 and is considered a marker of myocardial injury 6.

Myocardial edema is present in a large number of cardiac pathologies acute or chronic 1-5:

Myocardial edema can be seen in T2-weighted images if focal, if diffuse it can be assessed with myocardial mapping techniques. 

  • T2/STIR: hyperintensity

  • T2-mapping: increased T2 [ms]

  • T1-mapping: increased T1 [ms]

  • ECV: increased 

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: myocarditis
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  • Case 2: myocarditis
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  • Case 3: cardiac contusion
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  • Case 4: myocarditis
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  • Case 5: myocardial infarction with MVO
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