Myocardial fibrosis (MF) occurs in up to 80% of subjects with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and can constitute an arrhythmogenic substrate for re-entrant, life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias in predisposed persons.
The aim was to investigate whether MF detected by delayed enhancement cardiac CT is predictive of ventricular tachycardia (VT) and fibrillation (VF) that require appropriate therapy by an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in patients with HCM.
Twenty-six patients with HCM with previously (for at least 1 year) implanted ICD underwent MF evaluation by cardiac CT. MF was quantified by myocardial delayed enhanced cardiac CT. Data on ICD firing were recorded every 3 months after ICD implantation. Risk factors for sudden cardiac death in patients with HCM were evaluated in all patients.
MF was present in 25 of 26 patients (96%) with mean fibrosis mass of 20.5 ± 15.8 g. Patients with appropriate ICD shocks for VF/VT had significantly greater MF mass than patients without (29.10 ± 19.13 g vs 13.57 ± 8.31 g; P = .01). For a MF mass of at least 18 g, sensitivity and specificity for appropriate ICD firing were 73% (95% CI, 49%–88%) and 71% (95% CI, 56%–81%), respectively. Kaplan–Meier curves indicated a significantly greater VF/ VT event rate in patients with MF mass ≥18 g than in patients with MF <18 g (P = .02). In the Cox regression analysis, the amount of MF was independently associated with VF/VT in ICD-stored electrograms.
The mass of MF detected by cardiac CT in patients with HCM at high risk of sudden death was associated with appropriate ICD firings.