Over the past decade, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has evolved into a cardiac stress testing modality that can be used to diagnose myocardial ischemia using intravenous dobutamine or vasodilator perfusion agents such as adenosine or dipyridamole. Because CMR produces high-resolution tomographic images of the human heart in multiple imaging planes, it has become a highly attractive noninvasive testing modality for those suspected of having myocardial ischemia. The purpose of this article is to review the clinical, diagnostic, and prognostic utility of stress CMR testing for patients with (or suspected of having) coronary artery disease.
stress CMR; dobutamine; adenosine; myocardial ischemia
coronary artery disease; cardiovascular magnetic resonance; adverse cardiac prognosis; cardiovascular computer tomography
During adrenergic stress, the influence of age on left atrial (LA) function is unknown. We hypothesized that aging decreases LA total emptying fraction (LAEF) during maximal adrenergic stress. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of aging on LA function during adrenergic stress in middle aged and older patients.
We enrolled 167 middle aged and elderly participants, and measured LA and left ventricular (LV) volumes using a multi-slice three-dimensional cine white blood cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) technique before and during intravenous dobutamine infused to achieve 80% of the maximum heart rate response for age. Paired sample t-test was used to detect differences in LA and LV volumes between baseline and peak dose stage of dobutamine stress CMR, and multivariable linear regression was used to identify predictors of LA function.
Participants averaged 68 ± 8 years in age, 53% were men, 25% exhibited coronary artery disease, 35% had diabetes, 9% had a remote history of atrial fibrillation, 90% had hypertension, and 11% had inducible LV wall motion abnormalities indicative of ischemia during dobutamine CMR. Increasing age correlated with LA volumes (maximal and minimal) and inversely correlated with LAEF at rest and after peak adrenergic stress. Age was an independent predictor of LAEF during adrenergic stress, even after accounting for gender, LV volumes, and other co-morbidities including inducible ischemia.
Age is associated with a decrease in LA function during adrenergic stress even after adjusting for co-morbidities associated with cardiovascular disease and LV function.
aging; left atrial function; adrenergic stress; cardiac MRI
Noninvasive imaging modalities are often used to manage patients with cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is increasingly used for diagnosing and evaluating myocardial ischemia and viability; moreover, stress CMR study results can be used to determine cardiac prognosis. In this article, we review recently published material regarding the performance of stress testing with CMR including a brief update regarding techniques, stress agents, diagnostic accuracy, prognosis, economic implications, and ongoing trials and future developments.
CMR; Ischemia; Testing; Prognosis
While cancer-free survival has improved over the past 20 years for many individuals with prostate, renal, breast, and hematologic malignancies, the increasingly recognized prevalence of cardiovascular (CV) events in cancer survivors has been an unintended consequence of many of the therapies that have improved these survival rates. The increase in CV events threatens to offset the improvement in cancer related survival. As a result, there is an emerging need to develop methods to identify those individuals treated for cancer at increased risk of cardiovascular events. With its inherent ability to characterize myocardial tissue and identify both cardiac and vascular dysfunction, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has the potential to identify both subclinical and early clinical CV injury before the development of an overt catastrophic event such as a myocardial infarction, stroke, or premature cardiac death. Early identification provides an opportunity for the implementation of primary prevention strategies to prevent such events, thereby improving overall cancer survivorship and quality of life. This article reviews the etiology of CV events associated with cancer therapy and the unique potential of CMR to provide early diagnosis of subclinical CV injury related to the administration of these therapies.
Cardiotoxicity; Chemotherapy; Cancer; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
We determine whether imaging with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) in an observation unit would reduce medical costs among patients with
emergent non-low-risk chest pain who otherwise would be managed with an
inpatient care strategy.
Emergency department patients (n=110) at intermediate or high
probability for acute coronary syndrome without electrocardiographic or
biomarker evidence of a myocardial infarction provided consent and were
randomized to stress cardiac MRI in an observation unit versus standard
inpatient care. The primary outcome was direct hospital cost calculated as
the sum of hospital and provider costs. Estimated median cost differences
(Hodges-Lehmann) and distribution-free 95% confidence intervals (Moses) were
used to compare groups.
There were 110 participants with 53 randomized to cardiac MRI and 57
to inpatient care; 8 of 110 (7%) experienced acute coronary syndrome. In the
MRI pathway, 49 of 53 underwent stress cardiac MRI, 11 of 53 were admitted,
1 left against medical advice, 41 were discharged, and 2 had acute coronary
syndrome. In the inpatient care pathway, 39 of 57 patients initially
received stress testing, 54 of 57 were admitted, 3 left against medical
advice, and 6 had acute coronary syndrome. At 30 days, no subjects in either
group experienced acute coronary syndrome after discharge. The cardiac MRI
group had a reduced median hospitalization cost (Hodges-Lehmann estimate
$588; 95% confidence interval $336 to $811); 79% were managed without
Compared with inpatient care, an observation unit strategy involving
stress cardiac MRI reduced incident cost without any cases of missed acute
coronary syndrome in patients with emergent chest pain.
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
During cardiovascular stress, if right ventricular (RV) exceeds left ventricular (LV) stroke volume, then a large volume of blood is displaced into the pulmonary circulation that may precipitate pulmonary edema. We sought to determine the metrics by which cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) could measure simultaneous displacement of right and LV stroke volume during dobutamine stress.
Thirteen healthy subjects (5 women) aged 53±10 years without medical conditions and taking no medications underwent 2 CMR exams at 1.5 T separated by 4 to 8 weeks in which right and LV stroke volume were determined during intravenous dobutamine and atropine infused to achieve 80% of the maximum predicted heart rate response (MPHRR) for age.
The right and LV stroke volume were highly correlated at each level of stress (rest, r=0.98, p=0.007; low stress, r=0.87, p=0.001; and peak stress, r=0.88, p=0.001), and the mean difference in SV at each level of stress (rest, low stress, and peak stress was 0 to 2 ml on both exam 1 and 2.
Simultaneous change in right and left ventricular stroke volume can be assessed in a highly reproducible manner throughout the course of dobutamine CMR stress administered to achieve 80% of MPHRR for age. This technology may help identify discrepancies in right and LV stroke volume during cardiovascular stress that are associated with the development of pulmonary edema.
Background and aims
There are no data showing whether or not age-related declines in physical function are related to in vitro properties of human skeletal muscle. The purpose of this study was to determine whether physical function is independently associated with histologic and metabolic properties of skeletal muscle in elderly adults.
The study was a cross-sectional observational study of 39 sedentary, older (60–85 yrs) men and women. A needle biopsy of the vastus lateralis for assessment of muscle fiber type, fiber area, capillary density and citrate synthase and aldolase activities was performed. Physical function tests included the Short Physical Performance Battery (balance, walking speed, and chair rise time), as well as self-reported disability.
Total fiber area (R=−0.41, p=0.02), number of Type II fibers (R=−0.33, p=0.05), and aldolase activity (R=−0.54, p=0.01) were inversely related to age. Persons who reported greater difficulty with daily activities had lower capillary density (R=−0.51, p=0.03) and lower citrate synthase activity (R=−0.66, p=0.03). Walking speed was directly related to fiber area (R=0.40, p=0.02), capillary density (R=0.39, p=0.03), citrate synthase (R=0.45, p=0.03) and aldolase (R=0.55, p<0.01) activities, even after adjustment for age, BMI and disease status.
In older adults, skeletal muscle capillary density and metabolic enzymatic activity are independent predictors of lower extremity physical function.
Capillary density; enzyme activity; physical function; skeletal muscle
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
Fat in the renal sinus (RS), a region of the kidney in which low pressure venous and lymphatic vessels are present, may indirectly influence blood pressure (BP). The purpose of this study was to assess the association between RS fat and control of BP upon receipt of antihypertensive medications.
Two hundred-five (205) participants aged 55 to 85 years at risk for cardiovascular (CV) events underwent magnetic resonance imaging assessments of abdominal and RS fat, measurement of blood pressure, and determination of the number of prescribed antihypertensive medications. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine associations between RS fat, blood pressure, and the number of prescribed antihypertensive medications.
Abdominal fat averaged (416 ± 160 cm3, median and interquartile range (IQR) of 396 cm3 and 308 to 518 cm3); intraperitoneal (IP) fat averaged (141 ± 73 cm3, median and IQR of 129 cm3 and 86 to 194 cm3); and RS fat averaged (4.6 ± 3.2 cm3, median and IQR of 4.2 cm3 and 2.2 to 6.6 cm3). After accounting for age, gender, height, body mass index (BMI), and IP fat, RS fat correlated with the number of prescribed antihypertensive medications (p=0.010), stage II hypertension (p=0.02), and renal size (p=<0.001).
In conclusion, after accounting for other body fat depots and risk factors for hypertension, renal sinus fat volume is associated with the number of prescribed antihypertensive medications and stage II hypertension. These results indicate that further studies are warranted to determine if fat accumulation in the renal sinus promotes hypertension.
Renal sinus; intraperitoneal fat; hypertension; blood pressure; body mass index
To determine if dobutamine induced abnormal stress induce changes in left ventricular (LV) stroke volume (SV) and aortic stiffness predict future pulmonary edema.
Heightened aortic stiffness that reduces LV stroke volume during adrenergic stress may serve as a marker for future pulmonary edema (P edema).
We measured LVSV, ventriculo-vascular stiffness (pulse pressure/LVSVi), and aortic distensibility (AoD) at rest and during intravenous dobutamine using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DCMR). Personnel blinded to DCMR followed participants longitudinally over time to identify those admitted to the hospital with P edema. Data from 44 participants who experienced a hospital admission for P edema were compared to data from 72 participants of similar age, gender, and resting LV ejection fraction who remained free of P edema.
Expressed as median and interquartile range, participants with versus without P edema exhibited a reduced ratio of stress/rest LVSV (0.9 [0.7,1.1] versus 1.0 [0.9,1.2], respectively, p= 0.002); an increased ventriculo-vascular stiffness stress/rest ratio (1.4 [1.0,1.6] versus 1.0 [0.8,1.3], respectively, p= ≤ 0.001); and a reduced stress induced measure of AoD (0.8 [0.3,1.3] versus 1.6 [1.2,3.2] mmHg−3, respectively, p=0.002). After accounting for age, gender, LVEF, risk factors for P edema and the presence of dobutamine induced ischemia, LVSV reserve and the stress/rest ventriculo-vascular stiffness ratio remained different (p<0.008 for both) between those with and without P edema.
In patients without inducible ischemia during dobutamine stress, in whom one might otherwise assume a favorable prognosis, the failure to increase LV stroke volume, or an increase in ventriculo-vascular stiffness indicates patients at risk for subsequent P edema.
Stroke volume; heart failure; dobutamine cardiovascular magnetic resonance
Elevated serum glucose from diabetes mellitus (DM) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) shares many mechanisms with aging that decrease aortic distensibility (AD), such as glycation of the extra-cellular matrix. However, little data compares the simultaneous effects of elevated serum glucose and aging on AD. To study this, we examined the relationship between fasting glucose status, age, and AD in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA): a multi-ethnic cohort of individuals aged 45-84 years without clinical cardiovascular disease. In MESA, participants with normal fasting glucose (NFG; n = 2270), IFG (n = 870), and DM (n = 412) underwent MRI assessment of proximal thoracic aortic distensibility. This sample was 46% male, 42% white, 30% AA, 11% Asian, and 17% Hispanic. The relationship between glucose status, age, and AD was analyzed with general linear models by adjusting for factors influential on AD. An interaction term was used to determine if age modified the effect of glucose status on AD. AD was lowest among those with DM. The interaction term was significant (p = 0.024). Comparing participants less than 65 years of age, AD was different between NFG and DM (p < 0.01), and between NFG and IFG (p = 0.02). In those older than 65, fasting glucose group was no longer a significant predictor of AD. Our data indicate that there are overall differences in AD between DM, IFG, and NFG. However, age modified the effect of glucose status such that differences between the groups diminished with advancing age.
aging; aorta; diabetes mellitus; glucose; magnetic resonance imaging
Background and Aims
Arterial stiffness is a prominent feature of vascular aging and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Fat around the heart and blood vessels (i.e. pericardial fat, Pfat) may contribute to arterial stiffness via a local paracrine effect of adipose tissue on the surrounding vasculature. Thus, we determined the association between Pfat and carotid stiffness in 5,770 participants (mean age 62 yrs, 53% female, 25% African American, 24% Hispanic, and 13% Chinese) from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results
Pfat was measured by computed tomography, and ultrasonography of the common carotid artery was used to calculate the distensibility coefficient (DC) and young’s modulus (YM). Lower DC and higher YM values indicate stiffer arteries. Pfat quartile was highly associated with demographic, behavioral, anthropometric, hemodynamic, metabolic, and disease variables in both men and women. After adjusting for height, clinical site, CVD risk factors, and medications, a 1-standard deviation (41.91 cm3) increment in Pfat was associated with a 0.00007±0.00002 1/mmHg lower DC (p=0.0002) in men and a 48.1±15.1 mmHg/mm higher YM in women (p=0.002). Additional adjustment for C-reactive protein, coronary artery calcification, and carotid intima-media thickness had only modest effects. More importantly, adjusting for body mass index and waist circumference did not significantly change the overall results.
Higher Pfat is associated with higher carotid stiffness, independent of traditional CVD risk factors and obesity.
pericardial fat; arterial stiffness; distensibility; carotid artery
Serotonin and the serotonin transporter have been implicated in the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may have a role in PH treatment, but the effects of SSRI use on right ventricular (RV) structure and function are unknown. We hypothesized that SSRI use would be associated with RV morphology in a large cohort without cardiovascular disease (N = 4114).
SSRI use was determined by medication inventory during the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis baseline examination. RV measures were assessed via cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. The cross-sectional relationship between SSRI use and each RV measure was assessed using multivariable linear regression; analyses for RV mass and end-diastolic volume (RVEDV) were stratified by sex.
After adjustment for multiple covariates including depression and left ventricular measures, SSRI use was associated with larger RV stroke volume (RVSV) (2.75 mL, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.48–5.02 mL, p = 0.02). Among men only, SSRI use was associated with greater RV mass (1.08 g, 95% CI 0.19–1.97 g, p = 0.02) and larger RVEDV (7.71 mL, 95% 3.02–12.40 mL, p = 0.001). SSRI use may have been associated with larger RVEDV among women and larger RV end-systolic volume in both sexes.
SSRI use was associated with higher RVSV in cardiovascular disease-free individuals and, among men, greater RV mass and larger RVEDV. The effects of SSRI use in patients with (or at risk for) RV dysfunction and the role of sex in modifying this relationship warrant further study.
Pericardial fat has adverse effects on the surrounding vasculature. Previous studies suggest that pericardial fat may contribute to myocardial ischemia in symptomatic individuals. However, it is unknown if pericardial fat has similar effects in asymptomatic individuals.
We determined the association between pericardial fat and myocardial blood flow (MBF) in 214 adults with no prior history of cardiovascular disease from the Minnesota field center of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (43% female, 56% Caucasian, 44% Hispanic). Pericardial fat volume was measured by computed tomography. MBF was measured by MRI at rest and during adenosine-induced hyperemia. Myocardial perfusion reserve (PR) was calculated as the ratio of hyperemic to resting MBF.
Gender-stratified analyses revealed significant differences between men and women including less pericardial fat (71.9±31.3 vs. 105.2±57.5 cm3, p<0.0001) and higher resting MBF (1.12±0.23 vs. 0.93±0.19 ml/min/g, p<0.0001), hyperemic MBF (3.49±0.76 vs. 2.65±0.72 ml/min/g, p<0.0001), and PR (3.19±0.78 vs. 2.93±0.89, p = 0.03) in women. Correlations between pericardial fat and clinical and hemodynamic variables were stronger in women. In women only (p = 0.01 for gender interaction) higher pericardial fat was associated with higher resting MBF (p = 0.008). However, this association was attenuated after accounting for body mass index or rate-pressure product. There were no significant associations between pericardial fat and hyperemic MBF or PR after multivariate adjustment in either gender. In logistic regression analyses there was also no association between impaired coronary vasoreactivity, defined as having a PR <2.5, and pericardial fat in men (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.82–1.70) or women (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.68–1.82).
Our data fail to support an independent association between pericardial fat and myocardial perfusion in adults without symptomatic cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, these findings highlight potentially important differences between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals with respect to the underlying subclinical disease burden.
Biomarkers of inflammation and hemostasis have been associated with left ventricular (LV) mass. We studied relationships of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL6), D-dimer, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), soluble thrombomodulin (sTM), soluble tumor necrosis factor type 1 receptor (sTNFR1), von Willebrand factor (vWF), soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin), factor VIII, fibrinogen, matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3), and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) with LV mass in an asymptomatic population. Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging to characterize LV mass; biomarkers were measured using standardized protocols (N = 763 to 4979). Adjusted models were used to associate each biomarker with LV mass while correcting for potential confounding.
LV mass was associated with many biomarkers after adjustment for demographic characteristics and traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Although the demographic and risk factor adjustments attenuated the association of CRP and IL6 with LV mass, further adjustment for weight changed regression coefficients from positive to negative for CRP and IL6 for LV mass. sTM, Factor VIII, and vWF were directly associated with LV mass in fully-adjusted models. For sTNFR1, sICAM-1, D-dimer, fibrinogen, and PAI-1, adjustment for risk factors and weight rendered associations with LV mass nonsignificant.
In this large cohort free of clinical cardiovascular disease, several hemostasis and inflammation markers were associated with LV mass. The unusual finding of a negative relationship of CRP and IL6 with LV mass only after adjustment for weight suggests that the effects of inflammation on LV mass are strongly influenced by obesity.
Left ventricle; biomarker; hemostasis; inflammation
To determine if cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) measures of gadolinium (Gd) signal intensity (SI) within the left ventricular (LV) myocardium are associated with future changes in LV ejection fraction (LVEF) after receipt of doxorubicin (DOX).
Methods and Results
Forty Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups scheduled to receive weekly intravenous doses of: normal saline (NS) (n=7), 1.5 mg/kg DOX (n=19), or 2.5 mg/kg DOX (n=14). MR determinations of LVEF and myocardial Gd-SI were performed before and then at 2, 4, 7, and 10 weeks after DOX initiation. During treatment, animals were sacrificed at different time points so that histopathological assessments of the LV myocardium could be obtained. Within group analyses were performed to examine time-dependent relationships between Gd-SI and primary events (a deterioration in LVEF or an unanticipated death). Six of 19 animals receiving 1.5 mg/kg of DOX and 10/14 animals receiving 2.5 mg/kg of DOX experienced a primary event; no NS animals experienced a primary event. In animals with a primary event, histopathological evidence of myocellular vacuolization occurred (p=0.04), and the Gd-SI was elevated relative to baseline at the time of the event (p<0.0001) and during the measurement period prior to the event (p=0.0001). In all animals (including NS) without an event, measures of Gd-SI did not differ from baseline.
After DOX, low serial measures of Gd-SI predict an absence of a LVEF drop or unanticipated death. An increase in Gd-SI after DOX forecasts a subsequent drop in LVEF as well as histopathologic evidence of intracellular vacuolization consistent with DOX cardiotoxicity.
cardiotoxicity; chemotherapy; congestive heart failure; doxorubicin