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2.  In vivo cardiovascular magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging shows evidence of abnormal myocardial laminar orientations and mobility in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 
Cardiac diffusion tensor imaging (cDTI) measures the magnitudes and directions of intramyocardial water diffusion. Assuming the cross-myocyte components to be constrained by the laminar microstructures of myocardium, we hypothesized that cDTI at two cardiac phases might identify any abnormalities of laminar orientation and mobility in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
We performed cDTI in vivo at 3 Tesla at end-systole and late diastole in 11 healthy controls and 11 patients with HCM, as well as late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) for detection of regional fibrosis.
Voxel-wise analysis of diffusion tensors relative to left ventricular coordinates showed expected transmural changes of myocardial helix-angle, with no significant differences between phases or between HCM and control groups. In controls, the angle of the second eigenvector of diffusion (E2A) relative to the local wall tangent plane was larger in systole than diastole, in accord with previously reported changes of laminar orientation. HCM hearts showed higher than normal global E2A in systole (63.9° vs 56.4° controls, p = 0.026) and markedly raised E2A in diastole (46.8° vs 24.0° controls, p < 0.001). In hypertrophic regions, E2A retained a high, systole-like angulation even in diastole, independent of LGE, while regions of normal wall thickness did not (LGE present 57.8°, p = 0.0028, LGE absent 54.8°, p = 0.0022 vs normal thickness 38.1°).
In healthy controls, the angles of cross-myocyte components of diffusion were consistent with previously reported transmural orientations of laminar microstructures and their changes with contraction. In HCM, especially in hypertrophic regions, they were consistent with hypercontraction in systole and failure of relaxation in diastole. Further investigation of this finding is required as previously postulated effects of strain might be a confounding factor.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12968-014-0087-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4229618  PMID: 25388867
Diffusion tensor imaging; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Myocardial architecture; Laminar structure; Sheet and shear layers; Diastolic dysfunction
3.  Coronary microvascular ischemia in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - a pixel-wise quantitative cardiovascular magnetic resonance perfusion study 
Microvascular dysfunction in HCM has been associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Advances in quantitative cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) perfusion imaging now allow myocardial blood flow to be quantified at the pixel level. We applied these techniques to investigate the spectrum of microvascular dysfunction in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and to explore its relationship with fibrosis and wall thickness.
CMR perfusion imaging was undertaken during adenosine-induced hyperemia and again at rest in 35 patients together with late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging. Myocardial blood flow (MBF) was quantified on a pixel-by-pixel basis from CMR perfusion images using a Fermi-constrained deconvolution algorithm. Regions-of-interest (ROI) in hypoperfused and hyperemic myocardium were identified from the MBF pixel maps. The myocardium was also divided into 16 AHA segments.
Resting MBF was significantly higher in the endocardium than in the epicardium (mean ± SD: 1.25 ± 0.35 ml/g/min versus 1.20 ± 0.35 ml/g/min, P < 0.001), a pattern that reversed with stress (2.00 ± 0.76 ml/g/min versus 2.36 ± 0.83 ml/g/min, P < 0.001). ROI analysis revealed 11 (31%) patients with stress MBF lower than resting values (1.05 ± 0.39 ml/g/min versus 1.22 ± 0.36 ml/g/min, P = 0.021). There was a significant negative association between hyperemic MBF and wall thickness (β = −0.047 ml/g/min per mm, 95% CI: −0.057 to −0.038, P < 0.001) and a significantly lower probability of fibrosis in a segment with increasing hyperemic MBF (odds ratio per ml/g/min: 0.086, 95% CI: 0.078 to 0.095, P = 0.003).
Pixel-wise quantitative CMR perfusion imaging identifies a subgroup of patients with HCM that have localised severe microvascular dysfunction which may give rise to myocardial ischemia.
PMCID: PMC4145339  PMID: 25160568
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Perfusion; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Microvascular dysfunction; Sudden cardiac death
8.  Reproducibility of in-vivo diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 
Myocardial disarray is an important histological feature of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) which has been studied post-mortem, but its in-vivo prevalence and extent is unknown. Cardiac Diffusion Tensor Imaging (cDTI) provides information on mean intravoxel myocyte orientation and potentially myocardial disarray. Recent technical advances have improved in-vivo cDTI, and the aim of this study was to assess the interstudy reproducibility of quantitative in-vivo cDTI in patients with HCM.
Methods and results
A stimulated-echo single-shot-EPI sequence with zonal excitation and parallel imaging was implemented. Ten patients with HCM were each scanned on 2 different days. For each scan 3 short axis mid-ventricular slices were acquired with cDTI at end systole. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), and helix angle (HA) maps were created using a cDTI post-processing platform developed in-house. The mean ± SD global FA was 0.613 ± 0.044, MD was 0.750 ± 0.154 × 10-3 mm2/s and HA was epicardium −34.3 ± 7.6°, mesocardium 3.5 ± 6.9° and endocardium 38.9 ± 8.1°. Comparison of initial and repeat studies showed global interstudy reproducibility for FA (SD = ± 0.045, Coefficient of Variation (CoV) = 7.2%), MD (SD = ± 0.135 × 10-3 mm2/s, CoV = 18.6%) and HA (epicardium SD = ± 4.8°; mesocardium SD = ± 3.4°; endocardium SD = ± 2.9°). Reproducibility of FA was superior to MD (p = 0.003). Global MD was significantly higher in the septum than the reference lateral wall (0.784 ± 0.188 vs 0.750 ± 0.154 x10-3 mm2/s, p < 0.001). Septal HA was significantly lower than the reference lateral wall in all 3 transmural layers (from −8.3° to −10.4°, all p < 0.001).
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the interstudy reproducibility of DTI in the human HCM heart in-vivo and the largest cDTI study in HCM to date. Our results show good reproducibility of FA, MD and HA which indicates that current technology yields robust in-vivo measurements that have potential clinical value. The interpretation of regional differences in the septum requires further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3551746  PMID: 23259835
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Diffusion tensor imaging; Diffusion weighted imaging; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Disarray
18.  Right ventricular dysfunction is a predictor of non-response and clinical outcome following cardiac resynchronization therapy 
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is an established treatment in advanced heart failure (HF). However, an important subset does not derive a significant benefit. Despite an established predictive role in HF, the significance of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction in predicting clinical benefit from CRT remains unclear. We investigated the role of RV function, assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), in predicting response to and major adverse clinical events in HF patients undergoing CRT.
Sixty consecutive patients were evaluated with CMR prior to CRT implantation in a tertiary cardiac centre. The primary end-point was a composite of death from any cause or unplanned hospitalization for a major cardiovascular event. The secondary end-point was response to therapy, defined as improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction ≥ 5% on echocardiography at one year.
Eighteen patients (30%) met the primary end-point over a median follow-up period of 26 months, and 27 out of 56 patients (48%) were considered responders to CRT. On time-to-event analysis, only atrial fibrillation (HR 2.6, 95% CI 1.02-6.84, p = 0.047) and RV dysfunction, either by a reduced right ventricular ejection fraction-RVEF (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.99, p = 0.006) or tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion-TAPSE (HR 0.88, 95% CI, 0.80-0.96, p = 0.006), were significant predictors of adverse events. On logistic regression analysis, preserved RVEF (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01-1.09, p = 0.01) and myocardial scar burden (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83-0.96, p = 0.004) were the sole independent predictors of response to CRT. Patients with marked RV dysfunction (RVEF < 30%) had a particularly low response rate (18.2%) to CRT.
Right ventricular function is an important predictor of both response to CRT and long-term clinical outcome. Routine assessment of the right ventricle should be considered in the evaluation of patients for CRT.
PMCID: PMC3217913  PMID: 22040270
heart failure; cardiac resynchronization therapy; right ventricular function; cardiovascular magnetic resonance

Results 1-18 (18)