Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) is treated by surgical myectomy or transcoronary ablation of septal hypertrophy (TASH). The aim of this study was to visualize the feasibility, success and short-term results of TASH on the basis of cardiac MRI (CMR) in comparison with cardiac catheterization and echocardiography.
In this in vivo study, nine patients with HOCM were treated with TASH. Patients were evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography, invasive cardiac angiography and CMR. Follow-up examinations were carried out after 1, 3 and 12 months. MR imaging was performed on a 1.5-T scanner. All images were processed using the semiautomatic Argus software and were evaluated by an attending thoracic radiologist and cardiologist.
The echocardiographic pressure gradient (at rest) was 69.3 ± 15.3 mmHg before and 22.1 ± 5.7 mmHg after TASH (P < 0.01, n = 9). The flux acceleration over the aortic valve examined (Vmax) was 5.1 ± 0.6 m/s before and 3.4 ± 0.3 m/s after the TASH procedure (P < 0.05). Also, there was a decrease of septum thickness from 22.0 ± 1.2 to 20.2 ± 1.0 mm (P < 0.05) after 6 ± 3 weeks. The invasively assessed pressure gradient at rest was reduced from 63.7 ± 15.2 to 21.2 ± 11.1 mmHg (P < 0.01) and the post-extrasystolic gradient was reduced from 138.9 ± 12.7 to 45.6 ± 16.5 mmHg (P < 0.01). All differences as well as the quantity of injected ethanol were plotted against the size or amount of scar tissue as assessed in the MRI. There was a statistically significant correlation between the post-extrasystolic gradient decrease and the amount of scar tissue (P = 0.03, r2 = 0.5). In addition, the correlation between the quantity of ethanol and scar tissue area was highly significant (P < 0.01, r2 = 0.6), whereas the values for the gradient deviation (P = 0.10, r2 = 0.34), ΔVmax (P = 0.12, r2 = 0.31), as well as the gradient at rest (P = 0.27, r2 = 0.17) were not significant.
TASH was consistently effective in reducing the gradient in all patients with HOCM. In contrast to the variables investigated by echocardiography, the invasively measured post-extrasystolic gradient correlated much better with the amount of scar tissue as assessed by CMR. We conclude that the optimal modality to visualize the TASH effect seems to be a combination of CMR and the invasive identification of the post-extrasystolic gradient.