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7.  Reproducibility of native myocardial T1 mapping in the assessment of Fabry disease and its role in early detection of cardiac involvement by cardiovascular magnetic resonance 
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) derived native myocardial T1 is decreased in patients with Fabry disease even before left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) occurs and may be the first non-invasive measure of myocyte sphingolipid storage. The relationship of native T1 lowering prior to hypertrophy and other candidate early phenotype markers are unknown. Furthermore, the reproducibility of T1 mapping has never been assessed in Fabry disease.
Sixty-three patients, 34 (54%) female, mean age 48 ± 15 years with confirmed (genotyped) Fabry disease underwent CMR, ECG and echocardiographic assessment. LVH was absent in 25 (40%) patients. Native T1 mapping was performed with both Modified Look-Locker Inversion recovery (MOLLI) sequences and a shortened version (ShMOLLI) at 1.5 Tesla. Twenty-one patients underwent a second scan within 24 hours to assess inter-study reproducibility. Results were compared with 63 healthy age and gender-matched volunteers.
Mean native T1 in Fabry disease (LVH positive), (LVH negative) and healthy volunteers was 853 ± 50 ms, 904 ± 46 ms and 968 ± 32 ms (for all p < 0.0001) by ShMOLLI sequences. Native T1 showed high inter-study, intra-observer and inter-observer agreement with intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) of 0.99, 0.98, 0.97 (ShMOLLI) and 0.98, 0.98, 0.98 (MOLLI). In Fabry disease LVH negative individuals, low native T1 was associated with reduced echocardiographic-based global longitudinal speckle tracking strain (−18 ± 2% vs −22 ± 2%, p = 0.001) and early diastolic function impairment (E/E’ = 7 [6–8] vs 5 [5–6], p = 0.028).
Native T1 mapping in Fabry disease is a reproducible technique. T1 reduction prior to the onset of LVH is associated with early diastolic and systolic changes measured by echocardiography.
PMCID: PMC4256727  PMID: 25475749
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; T1 mapping; Speckle-tracking strain; Diastolic function; Fabry disease
8.  T1 mapping and survival in systemic light-chain amyloidosis 
European Heart Journal  2014;36(4):244-251.
To assess the prognostic value of myocardial pre-contrast T1 and extracellular volume (ECV) in systemic amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) T1 mapping.
Methods and results
One hundred patients underwent CMR and T1 mapping pre- and post-contrast. Myocardial ECV was calculated at contrast equilibrium (ECVi) and 15 min post-bolus (ECVb). Fifty-four healthy volunteers served as controls. Patients were followed up for a median duration of 23 months and survival analyses were performed. Mean ECVi was raised in amyloid (0.44 ± 0.12) as was ECVb (mean 0.44 ± 0.12) compared with healthy volunteers (0.25 ± 0.02), P < 0.001. Native pre-contrast T1 was raised in amyloid (mean 1080 ± 87 ms vs. 954 ± 34 ms, P < 0.001). All three correlated with pre-test probability of cardiac involvement, cardiac biomarkers, and systolic and diastolic dysfunction. During follow-up, 25 deaths occurred. An ECVi of >0.45 carried a hazard ratio (HR) for death of 3.84 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.53–9.61], P = 0.004 and pre-contrast T1 of >1044 ms = HR 5.39 (95% CI: 1.24–23.4), P = 0.02. Extracellular volume after primed infusion and ECVb performed similarly. Isolated post-contrast T1 was non-predictive. In Cox regression models, ECVi was independently predictive of mortality (HR = 4.41, 95% CI: 1.35–14.4) after adjusting for E:E′, ejection fraction, diastolic dysfunction grade, and NT-proBNP.
Myocardial ECV (bolus or infusion technique) and pre-contrast T1 are biomarkers for cardiac AL amyloid and they predict mortality in systemic amyloidosis.
PMCID: PMC4301598  PMID: 25411195
ECV; Amyloid; CMR; Cardiomyopathy; Heart failure; T1 mapping
9.  T1 Mapping for Characterization of Intracellular and Extracellular Myocardial Diseases in Heart Failure 
Heart failure (HF) is a major and growing cause of morbidity and mortality. Despite initial successes, there have been few recent therapeutic advances. A better understanding of HF pathophysiology is needed with renewed focus on the myocardium itself. A new imaging technique is now available that holds promise. T1 mapping is a cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) technique for non-invasive myocardial tissue characterization. T1 alters with disease. Pre-contrast (native) T1 changes with a number of processes such as fibrosis, edema and infiltrations. If a post contrast scan is also done, the extracellular volume fraction (ECV) can be measured, a direct measure of the interstitium and its reciprocal, the cell volume. This dichotomy is fundamental — and now measurable promising more targeted therapy and new insights into disease biology.
PMCID: PMC4133016  PMID: 25152807
T1 mapping; Extracellular space; Heart failure; Extracellular volume fraction; Diffuse fibrosis; Intracellular space; Cardiac remodelling; Myocardial intracellular volume; Myocytes; Interstitium
20.  Comparison of T1 mapping techniques for ECV quantification. Histological validation and reproducibility of ShMOLLI versus multibreath-hold T1 quantification equilibrium contrast CMR 
Myocardial extracellular volume (ECV) is elevated in fibrosis or infiltration and can be quantified by measuring the haematocrit with pre and post contrast T1 at sufficient contrast equilibrium. Equilibrium CMR (EQ-CMR), using a bolus-infusion protocol, has been shown to provide robust measurements of ECV using a multibreath-hold T1 pulse sequence. Newer, faster sequences for T1 mapping promise whole heart coverage and improved clinical utility, but have not been validated.
Multibreathhold T1 quantification with heart rate correction and single breath-hold T1 mapping using Shortened Modified Look-Locker Inversion recovery (ShMOLLI) were used in equilibrium contrast CMR to generate ECV values and compared in 3 ways.
Firstly, both techniques were compared in a spectrum of disease with variable ECV expansion (n=100, 50 healthy volunteers, 12 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 18 with severe aortic stenosis, 20 with amyloid). Secondly, both techniques were correlated to human histological collagen volume fraction (CVF%, n=18, severe aortic stenosis biopsies). Thirdly, an assessment of test:retest reproducibility of the 2 CMR techniques was performed 1 week apart in individuals with widely different ECVs (n=10 healthy volunteers, n=7 amyloid patients).
More patients were able to perform ShMOLLI than the multibreath-hold technique (6% unable to breath-hold). ECV calculated by multibreath-hold T1 and ShMOLLI showed strong correlation (r2=0.892), little bias (bias -2.2%, 95%CI -8.9% to 4.6%) and good agreement (ICC 0.922, range 0.802 to 0.961, p<0.0001). ECV correlated with histological CVF% by multibreath-hold ECV (r2= 0.589) but better by ShMOLLI ECV (r2= 0.685). Inter-study reproducibility demonstrated that ShMOLLI ECV trended towards greater reproducibility than the multibreath-hold ECV, although this did not reach statistical significance (95%CI -4.9% to 5.4% versus 95%CI -6.4% to 7.3% respectively, p=0.21).
ECV quantification by single breath-hold ShMOLLI T1 mapping can measure ECV by EQ-CMR across the spectrum of interstitial expansion. It is procedurally better tolerated, slightly more reproducible and better correlates with histology compared to the older multibreath-hold FLASH techniques.
PMCID: PMC3552758  PMID: 23272651
Interstitial space; Fibrosis; CMR
21.  The empowerment of translational research: lessons from laminopathies 
The need for a collaborative approach to complex inherited diseases collectively referred to as laminopathies, encouraged Italian researchers, geneticists, physicians and patients to join in the Italian Network for Laminopathies, in 2009. Here, we highlight the advantages and added value of such a multidisciplinary effort to understand pathogenesis, clinical aspects and try to find a cure for Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, Mandibuloacral dysplasia, Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria and forms of lamin-linked cardiomyopathy, neuropathy and lipodystrophy.
PMCID: PMC3458975  PMID: 22691392
Laminopathies; Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy; Dilated Cardiomyopathy with Conduction Defects; Mandibuloacral Dysplasia; Familial Partial Lipodystrophy Type 2; Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome; Rare Diseases; Networking activity; interdisciplinary approach to diseases

Results 1-22 (22)