Elevation in plasma activity of von Willebrand Factor (vWF) reflects endothelial dysfunction and predicts death in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Higher vWF activity is also associated with lower right ventricular (RV) ejection fraction in PAH. Little is known about the relationship between vWF and RV structure and function in adults without cardiovascular disease. In the current investigation, we included 1,976 participants with MRI assessment of RV structure and function and measurement of vWF activity from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Multivariable linear regression was used to estimate the associations between vWF activity and measures of RV structure and function after adjusting for demographics, anthropometrics, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and the corresponding left ventricular (LV) parameter. The average vWF activity was 140.7 ± 57.2%. Elevated vWF activity was independently associated with lower RV mass, RV end-diastolic volume and RV stroke volume in models with and without adjustment for the corresponding LV parameter (all p < 0.05). There was no association observed between vWF activity and RV ejection fraction. In conclusion, higher vWF activity is associated with lower RV mass, RV end-diastolic volume and RV stroke volume. These associations are independent of common cardiovascular risk factors and LV morphologic changes.
Cardiovascular Imaging; Biomarkers; Pulmonary Hypertension; Right Ventricle
The association of scar on late-gadolinium enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance (LGE-CMR) with local electrograms on electroanatomic mapping (EAM) has been investigated. We aimed to quantify these associations to gain insights regarding LGE-CMR image characteristics of tissues and critical sites that support post-infarct ventricular tachycardia (VT).
Methods and Results
LGE-CMR was performed in 23 patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy before VT ablation. Left ventricular wall thickness and post-infarct scar thickness were measured in each of 20 sectors per LGE-CMR short-axis plane. EAM points were retrospectively registered to the corresponding LGE-CMR images. Multivariable regression analysis, clustered by patient, revealed significant associations between left ventricular wall thickness, post infarct scar thickness, and intramural scar location on LGE-CMR, and local endocardial electrogram bipolar/unipolar voltage, duration, and deflections on EAM. Antero-posterior and septal/lateral scar localization was also associated with bipolar and unipolar voltage. Anti-arrhythmic drug use was associated with electrogram duration. Critical sites of post-infarct VT were associated with >25% scar transmurality and slow conduction sites with >40 msec stimulus-QRS time were associated with >75% scar transmurality.
Critical sites for maintenance of post-infarct VT are confined to areas with >25% scar transmurality. Our data provides insights into the structural substrates for delayed conduction and VT, and may reduce procedural time devoted to substrate mapping, overcome limitations of invasive mapping due to sampling density, and enhance magnetic resonance based ablation by feature extraction from complex images.
ischemic heart disease; magnetic resonance imaging; mapping; ventricular tachycardia; late gadolinium enhancement
The aim of the present study was to evaluate how torsion is influenced by left ventricular (LV) remodeling associated with age, gender and hypertension in a large community-based population.
Methods and Results
Myocardial shortening and torsion were assessed by tagged cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) in 1478 participants without clinically apparent cardiovascular disease in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Torsion was defined as the difference between apical and basal rotation, divided by slice distance. In multivariable linear regression models, older age was associated with lower stroke volume (−3.6 ml/decade, p<0.001) and higher LV mass –to-volume ratio (0.03 g/ml/decade, p<0.001) along with lower circumferential shortening (−0.17%/decade, p<0.05). Torsion, however, was greater at older ages (0.14 °/decade, p<0.001) and in women (0.37°/cm vs. men, p<0.001). Hypertensive participants had higher LV mass and LV mass –to-volume ratio (15.5g and 0.07 g/ml, respectively, p<0.001 for both). Circumferential shortening was lower in hypertensive (−0.42%, p<0.01), whereas torsion was higher after adjustment for age and gender (0.17°/cm, p<0.05).
Older age is associated with lower LV volumes and greater relative wall thickness, and accompanied by lower circumferential myocardial shortening, whereas torsion is greater with older age. Hypertensive individuals have greater LV volumes and relative wall thickness and lower circumferential shortening. Torsion, however, is greater in hypertension independent of age and gender. Torsion may therefore represent a compensatory mechanism to maintain an adequate stroke volume and cardiac output in the face of progressively reduced LV volumes and myocardial shortening associated with hypertension and aging.
Torsion; Hypertension; Age; remodeling; Cardiac Magnetic Resonance
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is associated with early atherosclerosis and enhanced cardiovascular mortality. The relationship between carotid IMT (cIMT), a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis and left ventricular (LV) mass, an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity has not been previously studied in type 1 diabetics.
The Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study is a multicenter observational study designed to follow up the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) cohort. LV mass was measured with cardiac MRI at EDIC year 15 and common cIMT was assessed using B-mode ultrasound at EDIC year 12. Multivariable linear regression models were used to assess the relationship between cIMT at year 12 and LV mass at year 15.
A total of 889 participants had both cardiac MRI and cIMT measures available for these analyses. At EDIC year 15, the mean age of the participants was 49 (±7) years; mean diabetes duration was 28 (±5) years and 52% were males. Spearman correlation coefficient (r) between LV mass and cIMT was 0.33 (p<0.0001). After adjusting for basic covariates (machine, reader, age and gender), a significant association between LV mass and cIMT (estimate 2.0 g/m2 per 0.1 mm cIMT increment, p < 0.0001) was observed. This association was diminished by the addition of systolic blood pressure in particular 1.15 g/m2 per 0.1 mm cIMT increment, p<0.0001) and to a lessor extent other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. The relationship observed between LV mass and cIMT was stronger (HOW MUCH) in patients with shorter diabetes duration.
In a well characterized population with type 1 diabetes, cIMT was an independent predictor of higher LV mass. These findings suggest a common pathway, possibly mediated by blood pressure dependent mechanisms, for vascular and myocardial structural change in T1DM.
To evaluate the 3-T magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) derived myocardial fat-signal fractions in comparison to those from 1.5-T MRS.
Material and Methods
We conducted phantom, ex-vivo and in-vivo myocardial specimen evaluations at both 1.5-T and 3-T using 1H-MRS. A phantom with nine fat-water emulsions was constructed to assess the accuracy of the spectroscopy measurements. Ex-vivo spectroscopy data were acquired in 70 segments from 21 autopsy heart slices. In-vivo spectroscopy data were acquired in the inter-ventricular septum from 22 human volunteers.
Phantom experiments demonstrated that 1.5-T and 3-T measurements were highly correlated with the reference values (r= 0.78, p =<0.05). The ex-vivo and in-vivo experiments demonstrated an increase in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 45 ± 73 % and 76 ± 72 % at 3-T compared to 1.5-T (p<0.05). The mean fat-signal fraction was similar at 3-T and 1.5-T (1.11±1.18 vs. 1.00±1.09, respectively, p=NS) in ex-vivo studies but were significantly different in the in-vivo studies (2.47±1.46 vs. 1.56±1.34, p<0.05). The fat-signal fractions from 3-T and 1.5-T correlated fairly well in all experiments.
3-T MRS has significantly greater SNR and could potentially be more accurate as compared to 1.5-T for quantification of myocardial fat fraction in in-vivo studies.
myocardial fat; proton spectroscopy; fat fraction
Prolonged QRS duration (QRSd) on the electrocardiogram (ECG) has been associated with cardiac structural and functional abnormalities by echocardiography and an increased risk of heart failure (HF). Data are sparse on these relationships in middle-aged and elderly individuals free of baseline cardiovascular disease with respect to cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We sought to determine whether QRSd is associated with incident HF and measures of cardiac structure and function by cardiac MRI.
Methods and results
We analysed baseline ECGs in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) to determine whether QRSd >100 ms was associated with incident HF. We adjusted for demographic and clinical risk factors, as well as MRI measures of left ventricular (LV) structure and function. Among 4591 eligible participants (51% women; 39% white; mean age 61 years), 75 developed incident HF over a mean follow-up of 7.1 years. QRSd >100 ms was significantly associated with MRI measures of cardiac structure and function, as well as incident HF, even after adjustment for demographic covariates [hazard ratio (HR) 2.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29–3.42; P = 0.003] and clinical risk factors (HR 1.86, 95% CI 1.14–3.03; P = 0.01). With further adjustment for individual LV structural measures, findings were attenuated to non-significance. Separate adjustment for LV functional measures yielded only mild attenuation.
In middle-aged and older adults without cardiovascular disease, a QRSd >100 ms was significantly associated with incident HF. After adjustment for LV structural measures, the association was attenuated to non-significance, suggesting that prolonged QRSd is potentially a useful marker of LV structure that may predispose to HF risk.
Electrocardiogram; Heart failure; Magnetic resonance imaging; QRS duration
Changes in right ventricular (RV) morphology are associated with morbidity and mortality in heart and lung disease. We examined the association of abnormal RV structure and function with the risk of heart failure (HF) or cardiovascular death in a population-based multiethnic sample free of clinical cardiovascular disease at baseline.
Methods and Results
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) performed cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 5098 participants between 2000–2002 with follow-up for incident heart failure and cardiovascular death (“death”) until January 2008. RV volumes and mass were available for 4204 participants. The study sample (N = 4,144) was 61.4 ± 10.1 years old and 47.6 % male. The presence of RV hypertrophy (increased RV mass) was associated with a more than twice the risk of heart failure or death after adjustment for demographics, body mass index, education, C-reactive protein level, hypertension, and smoking status (HR = 2.52, 95%CI 1.55–4.10, p < 0.001) and a doubling of risk (or more) with left ventricular mass at the mean value or lower (p for interaction = 0.05).
RV hypertrophy was associated with the risk of heart failure or death in a multi-ethnic population free of clinical cardiovascular disease at baseline.
right ventricle; pulmonary heart disease; magnetic resonance imaging; pulmonary hypertension; survival
Patients with DM are at risk for atrioventricular block and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. Non-invasive detection of diffuse myocardial fibrosis may improve disease management in this population.
Our aim was to define functional and post-contrast myocardial T1 time cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) characteristics in myotonic muscular dystrophy (DM) patients.
Thirty-three DM patients (24 with type 1 and 9 with type 2) and 13 healthy volunteers underwent CMR for assessment of LV indices and evaluation of diffuse myocardial fibrosis by T1 mapping. The association of myocardial T1 time to ECG abnormalities and LV indices were examined among DM patients.
DM patients had lower end-diastolic volume index (68.9 vs. 60.3 ml/m2, p=0.045), cardiac index (2.7 vs. 2.33 L/min/m2, p=0.005) and shorter myocardial T1time (394.5 vs. 441.4 ms, p<0.0001), compared to control subjects. Among DM patients, there was a positive association between higher T1 time and LV mass index (2.2 ms longer per gm/m2, p=0.006), LV end-diastolic volume index (1.3 ms longer per ml/m2, p=0.026), filtered QRS duration (1.2 ms longer per unit, p=0.005) and low-amplitude (<40mcV) late-potential duration (0.9 ms longer per unit, p=0.01). Using multivariate random effects regression, each 10 ms increase in myocardial T1 time of type 1 DM patients was independently associated with 1.3 ms increase in longitudinal PR and QRS intervals during follow-up.
DM is associated with structural alterations on CMR. Post-contrast myocardial T1 time was shorter in DM patients than controls likely reflecting the presence of diffuse myocardial fibrosis.
Myotonic muscular dystrophy; MRI; T1 mapping; ventricular function
Cardiovascular imaging studies generate a wealth of data which is typically used only for individual study endpoints. By pooling data from multiple sources, quantitative comparisons can be made of regional wall motion abnormalities between different cohorts, enabling reuse of valuable data. Atlas-based analysis provides precise quantification of shape and motion differences between disease groups and normal subjects. However, subtle shape differences may arise due to differences in imaging protocol between studies.
A mathematical model describing regional wall motion and shape was used to establish a coordinate system registered to the cardiac anatomy. The atlas was applied to data contributed to the Cardiac Atlas Project from two independent studies which used different imaging protocols: steady state free precession (SSFP) and gradient recalled echo (GRE) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). Shape bias due to imaging protocol was corrected using an atlas-based transformation which was generated from a set of 46 volunteers who were imaged with both protocols.
Shape bias between GRE and SSFP was regionally variable, and was effectively removed using the atlas-based transformation. Global mass and volume bias was also corrected by this method. Regional shape differences between cohorts were more statistically significant after removing regional artifacts due to imaging protocol bias.
Bias arising from imaging protocol can be both global and regional in nature, and is effectively corrected using an atlas-based transformation, enabling direct comparison of regional wall motion abnormalities between cohorts acquired in separate studies.
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Atlas; Bias correction
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Cardiac Magnetic resonance; Late gadolinium enhancement; myocardial fibrosis
To evaluate the influence of contrast agents with different relaxivity on the partition coefficient (λ) and timing of equilibration by using a Modified Look-Locker Inversion Recovery (MOLLI) sequence in cardiac MRI.
Materials and Methods
MOLLI was acquired in 20 healthy subjects (1.5T) at mid-ventricular short axis pre contrast and 5, 10, 20, 25, and 30 min after administration of a bolus of 0.15mmol/kg Gadobenate dimeglumine (Gd-BOPTA) (n=10) or Gadopentetate dimeglumine (Gd-DTPA) (n=10). T1 times were measured in myocardium and blood pool. λ was approximated by ΔR1myocardium /ΔR1blood. Values for Gd-BOPTA and Gd-DTPA were compared. Inter-observer agreement was evaluated (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]).
T1 times of myocardium and blood pool (p<0.001) and λ (0.42±0.03 and 0.47±0.04, respectively, p<0.001; excluding 5 min for Gd-BOPTA) were significantly lower for Gd-BOPTA than Gd-DTPA. λ(Gd-DTPA) showed no significant variation between 5 and 30min. λ(Gd-BOPTA) values were significantly lower at 5min compared to other times (0.38 vs. 0.42; p<0.05). Inter-observer agreement for λ values was excellent with Gd-BOPTA (ICC=0.818) and good for Gd-DTPA (ICC=0.631).
λ(Gd-BOPTA) values are significantly lower compared to λ(Gd-DTPA) at the same administered dose. Using Gd-BOPTA, the equilibrium between myocardium and blood pool is not achieved at 5min post contrast.
T1 mapping; Modified Look-Locker Inversion Recovery; partition coefficient; Gadopentetate dimeglumine; Gadobenate dimeglumine
To evaluate if left ventricular outflow tract /aortic valve (LVOT/AO) diameter ratio measured by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is an accurate marker for LVOT obstruction in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) compared to Doppler echocardiography.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
92 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy were divided into 3 groups based on their resting echocardiographic LVOT pressure gradient (PG): <30mmHg at rest (non-obstructive, n=31), <30 mmHg at rest, >30mmHg after provocation (latent, n=29) and >30mmHg at rest (obstructive, n=32).The end-systolic dimension of the LVOT on 3-chamber steady state free precession (SSFP) CMR was divided by the end diastolic aortic valve diameter to calculate the LVOT/AO diameter ratio.
There were significant differences in the LVOT/AO diameter ratio among the 3 subgroups (non-obstructive 0.60±0.13, latent 0.41±0.16, obstructive 0.24±0.09, p<0.001). There was a strong linear inverse correlation between the LVOT/AO diameter ratio and the log of the LVOT pressure gradient (r=−0.84, p<0.001). For detection of a resting gradient >30mmHg, the LVOT/AO diameter ratio the area under the ROC curve was 0.91 (95% CI 0.85-0.97). For detection of a resting and/or provoked gradient >30mmHg, the LVOT/AO diameter ratio area under the ROC curve was 0.90 (95% CI 0.84-0.96).
The LVOT/AO diameter ratio is an accurate, reproducible, noninvasive and easy to use CMR marker to assess LVOT pressure gradients in patients with HCM.
hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; left ventricular outflow tract; MRI
Cardiac CT (CCT) is widely available and has been validated for detection of focal myocardial scar using delayed enhancement technique. CCT however has not been previously evaluated for quantification of diffuse myocardial fibrosis. In our investigation, we sought to evaluate the potential of low dose CCT for the measurement of myocardial whole heart extracellular volume (ECV) fraction. ECV is altered in conditions of increased myocardial fibrosis. A framework consisting of three main steps was proposed for CCT whole heart ECV estimation. First, a shape constrained graph cut (GC) method was proposed for myocardium and blood pool segmentation on post-contrast image. Second, the symmetric Demons deformable registration method was applied to register pre-contrast to post-contrast images. So the correspondences between the voxels from pre-contrast to post-contrast images were established. Finally, the whole heart ECV value was computed. The proposed method was tested on 20 clinical low dose CCT datasets with pre-contrast and post-contrast images. The preliminary results demonstrated the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed method.
Cardiac CT; Myocardium Segmentation; Registration; Extracellular Volume Fraction
Systemic inflammation has been linked to the development of heart failure in population studies including MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) but little evidence exists regarding potential mechanism of this relationship. In this study, we used longitudinal MRI follow-up analysis to examine whether C-reactive protein (CRP) levels relate to progressive myocardial functional deterioration as a potential mechanism of incident heart failure.
Regional myocardial functional data from MESA participants who had baseline CRP measurement and also underwent tagged cardiac MRI both at baseline and at five-year follow-up were analyzed. Left ventricular (LV) midwall and mid-slice peak circumferential strain (Ecc), of which a more negative value denotes stronger regional myocardial function, was measured. Ecc change was calculated as the difference between baseline and follow-up Ecc.
During the follow-up period, participants (n=785) with elevated CRP experienced a decrease in strain, independent of age, gender and ethnicity (B=0.081; ΔEcc change per 1mg/L CRP change, 95% CI 0.036–0.126, p<0.001, Model 1), and additionally beyond systolic blood pressure, heart rate, diabetes, smoking status, body mass index, current medication and glomerular filtration rate (B=0.099, 0.052–0.145, p<0.001, Model 2). The relationship remained statistically significant after further adjustment for LV mass, coronary calcium score and interim clinical coronary events (B=0.098, 0.049–0.147, p<0.001, Model 3).
Higher CRP levels are related to progressive myocardial functional deterioration independent of subclinical atherosclerosis and clinical coronary events in asymptomatic individuals without previous history of heart disease.
inflammation; myocardial function; magnetic resonance imaging
We aim to evaluate the relationship between percent of predicted left ventricular mass (%PredLVM) and valve calcification in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Cardiac valve calcification has been associated with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), which portends cardiovascular events. However, this relationship and its mediators are poorly understood.
MESA is a longitudinal cohort study of men and women aged 45-84 years without clinical cardiovascular disease in whom serial cardiac magnetic resonance and computed tomography imaging were performed. The relationships between baseline %PredLVM and the prevalence, severity, and incidence of aortic valve (AVC) and mitral annulus calcification (MAC) were determined by regression modeling.
Prevalent AVC was observed in 630 and MAC in 442 of 5,042 subjects (median 55.9 and 71.1 Agatston units, respectively). After adjustment for age, gender, body mass index, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, physical activity, diabetes, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking, kidney function, serum lipids, and antihypertensive and statin medications, %PredLVM was associated with prevalent AVC (OR=1.18 per SD increase in %PredLVM [95%CI 1.08 – 1.30]; p=0.0004) and MAC (OR=1.18 [95%CI 1.06 – 1.32]; p=0.002). Similarly, %PredLVM was associated with increased severity of prevalent AVC (risk difference = 0.26 [95%CI 0.15 – 0.38]; p<0.0001) and MAC (risk difference = 0.20 [95%CI 0.03 – 0.37]; p=0.02). During follow-up (mean 2.4±0.9 years), 153 subjects (4%) developed AVC and 198 (5%) MAC. %PredLVM was associated with incident AVC (OR=1.24 [95%CI 1.04 – 1.47]; p=0.02) and MAC (OR=1.18 [1.01-1.40]; p=0.04). Further adjustment for inflammatory markers and coronary artery calcification did not attenuate these associations. Specifically, concentric LVH most strongly predicted incident valve calcification.
Within the MESA cohort, LVH was associated with prevalence, severity, and incidence of valve calcification independent of hypertension and other identified confounders.
aortic valve; calcification; left ventricular mass; mitral valve annulus
All cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) techniques aim to create still depictions of a dynamic and ever-adapting organ. Most CMR methods rely on cardiac gating to capture information during fleeting periods of relative cardiac quiescence, at end diastole or end systole, or to acquire partial images throughout the cardiac cycle and average these signals over several heart beats. Since the inception of clinical CMR in the early 1980s, priority has been given to improving methods for image gating. The aim of this work is to provide a basic understanding of the ECG acquisition, demonstrate common ECG-related artifacts and to provide practical methods for overcoming these issues. Meticulous ECG preparation is essential for optimal CMR acquisition and these techniques must be adaptable to the individual patient.
Magnetic resonance imaging; ECG; Trigger
We investigate three important areas related to the clinical use of LVM (LVM): accuracy of assessments by echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), the ability to predict cardiovascular outcomes, and the comparative value of different indexing methods. The recommended formula for echocardiographic estimation of LVM uses linear measurements and is based on the assumption of the left ventricle as a prolate ellipsoid of revolution. CMR permits a modeling of the left ventricle free of cardiac geometric assumptions or acoustic window dependency, showing better accuracy and reproducibility. However, echocardiography has lower cost, easier availability, and better tolerability. From the Medline database, 26 longitudinal echocardiographic studies and 5 CMR studies, investigating LVM or LV hypertrophy as predictors of death or major cardiovascular outcomes, were identified. LVM and LV hypertrophy were reliable cardiovascular risk predictors using both modalities. However, no study directly compared the methods for the ability to predict events, agreement in hypertrophy classification, or performance in cardiovascular risk reclassification. Indexing LVM to BSA was the earliest normalization process used, but it seems to underestimate the prevalence of hypertrophy in obese and overweight subjects. Dividing LVM by height to 1.7 or 2.7 as allometric powers are the most promising normalization methods in terms of practicality and usefulness from a clinical ans scientific standpoints for scaling myocardial mass to body size. The measurement of LVM, calculation of LVMi, and classification for LVH should be standardized by scientific societies across measurement techniques and adopted by clinicians in risk stratification and therapeutic decision.
LVM; LVH; cardiovascular events; cardiac magnetic resonance; echocardiography
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) T1 mapping indices, such as T1 time and partition coefficient (λ), have shown potential to assess diffuse myocardial fibrosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate how scanner and field strength variation affect the accuracy and precision/reproducibility of T1 mapping indices.
CMR studies were performed on two 1.5T and three 3T scanners. Eight phantoms were made to mimic the T1/T2 of pre- and post-contrast myocardium and blood at 1.5T and 3T. T1 mapping using MOLLI was performed with simulated heart rate of 40-100 bpm. Inversion recovery spin echo (IR-SE) was the reference standard for T1 determination. Accuracy was defined as the percent error between MOLLI and IR-SE, and scan/re-scan reproducibility was defined as the relative percent mean difference between repeat MOLLI scans. Partition coefficient was estimated by ΔR1myocardium phantom/ΔR1blood phantom. Generalized linear mixed model was used to compare the accuracy and precision/reproducibility of T1 and λ across field strength, scanners, and protocols.
Field strength significantly affected MOLLI T1 accuracy (6.3% error for 1.5T vs. 10.8% error for 3T, p<0.001) but not λ accuracy (8.8% error for 1.5T vs. 8.0% error for 3T, p=0.11). Partition coefficients of MOLLI were not different between two 1.5T scanners (47.2% vs. 47.9%, p=0.13), and showed only slight variation across three 3T scanners (49.2% vs. 49.8% vs. 49.9%, p=0.016). Partition coefficient also had significantly lower percent error for precision (better scan/re-scan reproducibility) than measurement of individual T1 values (3.6% for λ vs. 4.3%-4.8% for T1 values, approximately, for pre/post blood and myocardium values).
Based on phantom studies, T1 errors using MOLLI ranged from 6-14% across various MR scanners while errors for partition coefficient were less (6-10%). Compared with absolute T1 times, partition coefficient showed less variability across platforms and field strengths as well as higher precision.
T1 mapping; Partition coefficient (λ); Extracellular volume fraction (ECV); Diffuse myocardial fibrosis; Modified look-locker with inversion recovery (MOLLI)
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the major cause of death in the United States. Coronary artery calcification (CAC) scores are independent predictors of CHD. African Americans (AA) have higher rates of CHD but are less well-studied in genomic studies. We assembled the largest AA data resource currently available with measured CAC to identify associated genetic variants.
We analyzed log transformed CAC quantity (ln(CAC + 1)), for association with ~2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and performed an inverse-variance weighted meta-analysis on results for 5,823 AA from 8 studies. Heritability was calculated using family studies. The most significant SNPs among AAs were evaluated in European Ancestry (EA) CAC data; conversely, the significance of published SNPs for CAC/CHD in EA was queried within our AA meta-analysis.
Heritability of CAC was lower in AA (~30%) than previously reported for EA (~50%). No SNP reached genome wide significance (p < 5E-08). Of 67 SNPs with p < 1E-05 in AA there was no evidence of association in EA CAC data. Four SNPs in regions previously implicated in CAC/CHD (at 9p21 and PHACTR1) in EA reached nominal significance for CAC in AA, with concordant direction. Among AA, rs16905644 (p = 4.08E-05) had the strongest association in the 9p21 region.
While we observed substantial heritability for CAC in AA, we failed to identify loci for CAC at genome-wide significant levels despite having adequate power to detect alleles with moderate to large effects. Although suggestive signals in AA were apparent at 9p21 and additional CAC and CAD EA loci, overall the data suggest that even larger samples and an ethnic specific focus will be required for GWAS discoveries for CAC in AA populations.
Atherosclerosis; Coronary artery calcium; Genetics; Meta-analysis; African-American
Myocardial fat accumulation could occur in diseased hearts. The degree of heterogeneity is unknown because accurate assessment is difficult using conventional 1H-MRS techniques in a beating heart. The purpose of this study was to characterize the distribution of intramyocellular lipid content and to determine its association with disease characteristics. 1H-MRS was performed on formalin-fixed slices of human hearts at various circumferential locations (N=55). 29% of the hearts had the highest fat content measured in the septum, followed by posterior (27%), lateral (26%), and anterior (18%) wall. Age was significantly correlated with the mean fat percentages (r2=0.12, p=0.007). Those who died from cardiovascular disease demonstrated significantly higher and more heterogeneous fat distribution than those who did not (1.62±1.1% vs 0.59±0.4%, p=0.002). In summary, septal fat content is representative of mean fat percentage. Fat content increases with age; fat distribution may be heterogeneous when associated with cardiovascular disease.
cardiac steatosis; magnetic resonance spectroscopy; heterogeneity; ex-vivo
Increased left ventricular myocardial thickness (LVMT) is a feature of several cardiac diseases. The purpose of this study was to establish standard reference values of normal LVMT with cardiac MR (CMR) and to assess variation with image acquisition plane, demographics and LV function.
Methods and Results
End-diastolic LVMT was measured on CMR steady-state free precession cine long and short axis images in 300 consecutive participants free of cardiac disease (169 women; 65.6±8.5 years) of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis cohort. Mean LVMT on short axis images at the mid-cavity level was 5.3±0.9mm and 6.3±1.1mm for women and men, respectively. The average of the maximum LVMT at the mid-cavity for women/men were 7mm/9mm (long axis) and 7mm/8mm (short axis). Mean LVMT was positively associated with weight (0.02mm/kg, p=0.01) and body-surface-area (1.1mm/m2, p<0.001). No relationship was found between mean LVMT and age or height. Greater mean LVMT was associated with lower LV end-diastolic volume (0.01mm/ml, p<0.01), a lower LV end-systolic volume (−0.01mm/ml, p=0.01) and lower LV stroke volume (−0.01mm/ml, p<0.05). LVMT measured on long axis images at the basal and mid-cavity level were slightly greater (by 6% and 10%, respectively) than measurements obtained on short axis images; apical LVMT values on long axis images were 20% less than those on short axis images.
Normal values for wall thickness are provided for middle-aged and older subjects. Normal LVMT is lower for women than men. Observed values vary depending on the imaging plane for measurement.
magnetic resonance imaging; myocardial thickness; normal values
UK Biobank is a prospective cohort study with 500,000 participants aged 40 to 69. Recently an enhanced imaging study received funding. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) will be part of a multi-organ, multi-modality imaging visit in 3–4 dedicated UK Biobank imaging centres that will acquire and store imaging data from 100,000 participants (subject to successful piloting). In each of UK Biobank’s dedicated bespoke imaging centres, it is proposed that 15–20 participants will undergo a 2 to 3 hour visit per day, seven days a week over a period of 5–6 years. The imaging modalities will include brain MRI at 3 Tesla, CMR and abdominal MRI at 1.5 Tesla, carotid ultrasound and DEXA scans using carefully selected protocols. We reviewed the rationale, challenges and proposed approaches for concise phenotyping using CMR on such a large scale. Here, we discuss the benefits of this imaging study and review existing and planned population based cardiovascular imaging in prospective cohort studies. We will evaluate the CMR protocol, feasibility, process optimisation and costs. Procedures for incidental findings, quality control and data processing and analysis are also presented. As is the case for all other data in the UK Biobank resource, this database of images and related information will be made available through UK Biobank’s Access Procedures to researchers (irrespective of their country of origin and whether they are academic or commercial) for health-related research that is in the public interest.
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Prospective cohort study; Population-based study; Nested-case control study; Biobank
Pregnancy is associated with marked maternal cardiovascular/hemodynamic changes. A greater number of pregnancies may be associated with long-term subclinical changes in left ventricular (LV) remodeling.
Among 2,234 white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese women (mean age 62 years) in the MESA, we used linear regression to relate live births and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging LV measures. Covariates included age, ethnicity, height, income, education, birth country, smoking, menopause, and oral contraceptive duration. Models were additionally adjusted for potential mediators: systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive use, total/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, diabetes, and body mass index. We performed sensitivity analyses excluding 763 women in the lowest socioeconomic group: annual income <$25,000 and lower high school level of education.
With each live birth, LV mass increased 1.26 g; LV end-diastolic volume, 0.74 mL; and LV end-systolic volume, 0.45 mL; LV ejection fraction decreased 0.18% (P trend <0.05). Changes were most notable for the category of women with ≥5 pregnancies. Upon adjustment for potential biologic mediators, live births remained positively associated with LV mass and end-systolic volume. Live births remained significantly associated with LV end-systolic, end-diastolic volumes, and LV mass (P trend ≤0.02) after excluding women in the lowest socioeconomic group.
Number of live births is associated with key LV structural and functional measures in middle to older ages, even after adjustment for sociodemographic factors and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Hemodynamic changes during pregnancy may be associated with cardiac structure/function beyond childbearing years.
The aim of this study is to determine the test-retest reliability of the measurement of regional myocardial function by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) tagging using spatial modulation of magnetization.
Twenty-five participants underwent CMR tagging twice over 12 ± 7 days. To assess the role of slice orientation on strain measurement, two healthy volunteers had a first exam, followed by image acquisition repeated with slices rotated ±15 degrees out of true short axis, followed by a second exam in the true short axis plane. To assess the role of slice location, two healthy volunteers had whole heart tagging. The harmonic phase (HARP) method was used to analyze the tagged images. Peak midwall circumferential strain (Ecc), radial strain (Err), Lambda 1, Lambda 2, and Angle α were determined in basal, mid and apical slices. LV torsion, systolic and early diastolic circumferential strain and torsion rates were also determined.
LV Ecc and torsion had excellent intra-, interobserver, and inter-study intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC range, 0.7 to 0.9). Err, Lambda 1, Lambda 2 and angle had excellent intra- and interobserver ICC than inter-study ICC. Angle had least inter-study reproducibility. Torsion rates had superior intra-, interobserver, and inter-study reproducibility to strain rates. The measurements of LV Ecc were comparable in all three slices with different short axis orientations (standard deviation of mean Ecc was 0.09, 0.18 and 0.16 at basal, mid and apical slices, respectively). The mean difference in LV Ecc between slices was more pronounced in most of the basal slices compared to the rest of the heart.
Intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility of all strain and torsion parameters was excellent. Inter-study reproducibility of CMR tagging by SPAMM varied between different parameters as described in the results above and was superior for Ecc and LV torsion. The variation in LV Ecc measurement due to altered slice orientation is negligible compared to the variation due to slice location.
This trial is registered as NCT00005487 at National Heart, Lung and Blood institute.
CMR tagging; HARP; Test-retest reproducibility; SPAMM; Circumferential strain; Radial strain; Principal strains; Torsion
A high degree of non-compacted (trabeculated) myocardium in relationship to compact myocardium (T/M ratio >2.3) has been associated with a diagnosis of left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC). The purpose of this study was to determine the normal range of the T/M ratio in a large population-based study and to examine the relationship to demographic and clinical parameters.
Methods and Results
The thickness of trabeculation and the compact myocardium were measured in eight LV regions on long axis cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) steady-state free precession cine images in 1000 participants (551 women; 68.1±8.9 years) of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis cohort. Of 323 participants without cardiac disease or hypertension and with all regions evaluable 140 (43%) had a T/M ratio >2.3 in at least one region; in 20/323 (6%), T/M>2.3 was present in more than two regions. Multivariable linear regression model revealed no association of age, gender, ethnicity, height and weight with maximum T/M ratio in participants without cardiac disease or hypertension (p>0.05). In the entire cohort (n=1000) LVEF (β=−0.02/%; p=0.015), LVEDV (β=0.01/ml; p=<0.0001) and LVESV (β=0.01/ml; p<0.001) were associated with maximum T/M ratio in adjusted models while there was no association with hypertension or myocardial infarction (p>0.05). At the apical level T/M ratios were significantly lower when obtained on short- compared to long-axis images (p=0.017).
A ratio of trabeculated to compact myocardium of more than 2.3 is common in a large population based cohort. These results suggest reevaluation of the current CMR criteria for LVNC may be necessary.
cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging; cardiomyopathy; non-compaction; trabeculation