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Native Myocardial T1 as a Biomarker of Cardiac Structure in Non-Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

Published:November 06, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.10.046
      Diffuse myocardial fibrosis is involved in the pathology of nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NIC). Recently, the application of native (noncontrast) myocardial T1 measurement has been proposed as a method for characterizing diffuse interstitial fibrosis. To determine the association of native T1 with myocardial structure and function, we prospectively studied 39 patients with NIC (defined as left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤50% without cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) evidence of previous infarction) and 27 subjects with normal LVEF without known overt cardiovascular disease. T1, T2, and extracellular volume fraction (ECV) were determined over 16 segments across the base, mid, and apical left ventricular (LV). NIC participants (57 ± 15 years) were predominantly men (74%), with a mean LVEF 34 ± 10%. Subjects with NIC had a greater native T1 (1,131 ± 51 vs 1,069 ± 29 ms; p <0.0001), a greater ECV (0.28 ± 0.04 vs 0.25 ± 0.02, p = 0.002), and a longer myocardial T2 (52 ± 8 vs 47 ± 5 ms; p = 0.02). After multivariate adjustment, a lower global native T1 time in NIC was associated with a greater LVEF (β = −0.59, p = 0.0003), greater right ventricular ejection fraction (β = −0.47, p = 0.006), and smaller left atrial volume index (β = 0.51, p = 0.001). The regional distribution of native myocardial T1 was similar in patients with and without NIC. In NIC, native myocardial T1 is elevated in all myocardial segments, suggesting a global (not regional) abnormality of myocardial tissue composition. In conclusion, native T1 may represent a rapid, noncontrast alternative to ECV for delineating myocardial tissue remodeling in NIC.
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