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Journal: The international journal of cardiovascular imaging


Asymmetric septal hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (ASH) is the common phenotype of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). We sought to classify ASH using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to determine whether the MRI classification of ASH is related to the presence of risk factors for HCM. Ninety-three patients with ASH underwent cine and delayed-enhancement MRI. The ASH was classified morphologically using cine MRI at end-diastole. We evaluated the association between the MRI findings and the presence of risk factors in the ASH. The ASH was classified into three subtypes by MRI: contiguous subtype showing various clinical and MRI features (57%), sigmoid subtype (29%) with fewer risk factors, and reverse-curve subtype (14%) in younger patients with the larger myocardial mass and delayed-enhancement, which were significantly related to the risk factors. MRI was used to classify ASH into three subtypes, which might be related to the presence of risk factors.

Concepts: Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy


The anatomical and functional characteristics of the left atrial appendage (LAA) and its relationships with anatomical remodeling and ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have not been clearly established. The purpose of this study was to determine whether functional and morphological features of the LAA independently predict clinical outcome and stroke in patients with AF who underwent catheter ablation (CA). Two hundred sixty-four patients with AF, including 176 with paroxysmal AF (PAF, 54.0 ± 11.4 years old, M:F = 138:38) and 88 with persistent AF (PeAF, 56.4 ± 9.6 years old, M:F = 74:14) were studied. Of these patients, 31 (11.7 %) had a history of stroke/TIA (transient ischemic attack). The LA and LAA volumes were 124.0 ± 42.4 and 24.9 ± 4.3 ml in PeAF, these values were greater than those in PAF (81.2 ± 24.8 ml and 21.2 ± 5.1 ml, P < 0.001). The AF type (P = 0.016) and AF duration (P = 0.005), and anti-arrhythmic drugs use (P < 0.001) were significant predictors of AF recurrence after CA in all patients. Compared with patients without history of stroke, stroke patients had larger LA volume (106.9 ± 23.0 vs. 94.0 ± 38.9 ml, P = 0.004) and had lower LAA EF (50.0 ± 11.0 vs. 65.7 ± 13.4 %, P < 0.001). The independent predictors of stroke were age (P = 0.002) and LAA EF (P < 0.001) in PAF patients and that was only age (P = 0.001) in PeAF patients. In anatomical and morphological parameters of the LA and LAA, only depressed systolic function of the LAA was significantly related to stroke/TIA and recurrence of AF after CA in paroxysmal AF patients. Further large scaled prospective study is required for validation.

Concepts: Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Transient ischemic attack, Blood pressure, Atrial flutter, Cultural studies, Left atrial appendage occlusion, Left atrial appendage


Although more patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) are now living longer due to better surgical interventions, they require regular imaging to monitor cardiac performance. There is a need for robust clinical tools which can accurately assess cardiac function of both the left and right ventricles in these patients. We have developed methods to rapidly quantify 4D (3D + time) biventricular function from standard cardiac MRI examinations. A finite element model was interactively customized to patient images using guide-point modelling. Computational efficiency and ability to model large deformations was improved by predicting cardiac motion for the left ventricle and epicardium with a polar model. In addition, large deformations through the cycle were more accurately modeled using a Cartesian deformation penalty term. The model was fitted to user-defined guide points and image feature tracking displacements throughout the cardiac cycle. We tested the methods in 60 cases comprising a variety of congenital heart diseases and showed good correlation with the gold standard manual analysis, with acceptable inter-observer error. The algorithm was considerably faster than standard analysis and shows promise as a clinical tool for patients with CHD.

Concepts: Genetic disorder, Blood, Heart, Heart disease, Right ventricle, Ventricle, Left ventricle, Congenital heart disease


To investigate the clinical utility of culprit plaque characteristics and inflammatory markers for the prediction of future cardiovascular events in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) with successful drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation. We evaluated 172 STEMI patients with successful primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with DES using pre-PCI high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and pre-PCI intravascular ultrasound virtual histology (IVUS-VH) of culprit lesions. The incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) including all-cause mortality, non-fatal MI, stroke and late revascularization were recorded during hospitalization and follow-up. During follow-up (median 41 months), the incidence of MACE did not significantly differ among patients with or without all 3 high-risk plaque features on IVUS-VH (15.1 vs. 16.2%; p = 0.39). In contrast, patients with elevated hs-CRP and NLR levels were at significant risk for MACE [32.7 vs. 5.8%; hazard ratio (HR) 7.85; p < 0.001 and 43.9 vs. 6.9%; HR 8.44; p < 0.001, respectively]. High-risk plaque features had no incremental usefulness to predict future MACE. However, the incorporation of hs-CRP and NLR into a model with conventional clinical and procedural risk factors significantly improved the C-statistic for the prediction of MACE (0.76-0.89; p = 0.04). High-risk plaque features identified by IVUS-VH in culprit lesions were not associated with future MACE in patients with STEMI receiving DES. However, elevated hs-CRP and NLR levels were significantly associated with poorer outcomes and had incremental predictive values over conventional risk factors.

Concepts: Inflammation, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiology, Percutaneous coronary intervention, Cardiovascular disease, Prediction, C-reactive protein


In recent years, there has been a significant effort to identify high-risk plaques in vivo prior to acute events. While number of imaging modalities have been developed to identify morphologic characteristics of high-risk plaques, prospective natural-history observational studies suggest that vulnerability is not solely dependent on plaque morphology and likely involves additional contributing mechanisms. High wall shear stress (WSS) has recently been proposed as one possible causative factor, promoting the development of high-risk plaques. High WSS has been shown to induce specific changes in endothelial cell behavior, exacerbating inflammation and stimulating progression of the atherosclerotic lipid core. In line with experimental and autopsy studies, several human studies have shown associations between high WSS and known morphological features of high-risk plaques. However, despite increasing evidence, there is still no longitudinal data linking high WSS to clinical events. As the interplay between atherosclerotic plaque, artery, and WSS is highly dynamic, large natural history studies of atherosclerosis that include WSS measurements are now warranted. This review will summarize the available clinical evidence on high WSS as a possible etiological mechanism underlying high-risk plaque development.

Concepts: Inflammation, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Blood vessel, Atheroma, Artery, Endothelium, Force


In the setting of acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), it remains unclear which strain parameter most strongly correlates with microvascular obstruction (MVO) or intramyocardial haemorrhage (IMH). We aimed to investigate the association of MVO, IMH and convalescent left ventricular (LV) remodelling with strain parameters measured with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). Forty-three patients with reperfused STEMI and 10 age and gender matched healthy controls underwent CMR within 3-days and at 3-months following reperfused STEMI. Cine, T2-weighted, T2*-imaging and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging were performed. Infarct size, MVO and IMH were quantified. Peak global longitudinal strain (GLS), global radial strain (GRS), global circumferential strain (GCS) and their strain rates were derived by feature tracking analysis of LV short-axis, 4-chamber and 2-chamber cines. All 43 patients and ten controls completed the baseline scan and 34 patients completed 3-month scans. In multivariate regression, GLS demonstrated the strongest association with MVO or IMH (beta = 0.53, p < 0.001). The optimal cut-off value for GLS was -13.7% for the detection of MVO or IMH (sensitivity 76% and specificity 77.8%). At follow up, 17% (n = 6) of patients had adverse LV remodeling (defined as an absolute increase of LV end-diastolic/end-systolic volumes >20%). Baseline GLS also demonstrated the strongest diagnostic performance in predicting adverse LV remodelling (AUC = 0.79; 95% CI 0.60-0.98; p = 0.03). Post-reperfused STEMI, baseline GLS was most closely associated with the presence of MVO or IMH. Baseline GLS was more strongly associated with adverse LV remodelling than other CMR parameters.

Concepts: Blood, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Heart, Infarction, Necrosis, Ventricular fibrillation, The Strongest


To disentangle genetic and environmental influences on the development of femoral plaques using a population of adult twins. To evaluate the potential role of shared genetic and environmental factors in the co-occurrence of femoral and carotid plaques. The sample included 566 twins belonging to 164 monozygotic (MZ) and 119 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs, who underwent peripheral arterial assessment by B-mode ultrasound in different centers. The variance in femoral plaques onset was due to genetic factors and the remaining 50% was explained by common (15%) and unique (35%) environmental factors. Findings on sidedness and number of femoral plaques indicated that also these traits were mainly under genetic control. No effect of common environment was found on plaques composition, and variability of this trait was explained by genetics (64%) and unique environment (36%). Covariation between the liabilities to carotid and femoral plaques was mainly attributed to shared genes (77%), with the remaining 23% explained by individual-specific environmental factors shared by the two districts. Inter-individual differences in plaque onset as well as in their number, sidedness and composition are mainly genetic in origin. The results on the cooccurrence of carotid and femoral plaque underline the genetic role in atherogenesis.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Environment, Twin, Twins, Zygote, Monozygotic


Right ventricular (RV) evaluation represents one of the major clinical tasks in the follow-up of repaired tetralogy of Fallot patients (rToF) with pulmonary valve regurgitation, as both severe RV dilatation and dysfunction are key factors in defining the need of pulmonary valve replacement. The aim of our study was to report the diagnostic accuracy of echocardiography in the identification of rToF patients with severely dilated and/or depressed RV as compared to cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). Among our patients with rToF, a subgroup of 95 (17.6 ± 6.8 years; 60% male), who underwent right ventricular qualitative and quantitative evaluation with CMR following echocardiographic suspicion of severe dilation/dysfunction, were included in the analysis. When comparing echocardiographic RV functional parameters to CMR findings, we found no association between CMR-ejection fraction (EF) and either tricuspid annulus plane systolic excursion (TAPSe) nor tissue Doppler systolic tricuspid excursion velocity (all p = ns). In contrast RVFAC was strongly associated with CMR-EF (r = 0.44; p < 0.01) as well as to longitudinal components of RV mechanics including tissue Doppler s' (r = 0.40; p < 0.01) and TAPSE (r = 0.36; p < 0.01). When comparing echocardiographic and CMR structural parameters of the RV, we found that CMR RV volume was strongly related to echocardiographic measurements of RV end diastolic area (from the 4 chamber apical view) and with proximal parasternal short axis right ventricle outflow-dimension. Accordingly a regression model was derived from multiple regression analysis, which allows a more accurate estimate of CMR RV volume from echocardiography (r(2) = 0.59, p < 0.001). Our study demonstrates a significant, although imperfect, correlation between echocardiographic and CMR RV functional and geometrical parameters. Combining echocardiographic measures of RV inflow and RV outflow, we deliver a simple formula to estimate CMR-RV volume, improving the echocardiographic accuracy in RV volume quantification.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Heart, Doppler echocardiography, Echocardiography, Right ventricle, Ventricle, Tricuspid valve, Pulmonary valve


The aim of this study was to compare neointima proliferation in three drug-eluting stents (DES) produced by the same company (Balton, Poland) which are covered with a biodegradable polymer and elute sirolimus (concentration: 1.0 and 1.2 µg/mm(2)), but have different stent platforms and strut thickness: stainless steel Prolim(®) (115 µm) and BiOSS LIM(®) (120 µm) and cobalt-chromium Alex(®) (70 µm). We analyzed data of patients with quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) at 12 months from BiOSS LIM Registry, Prolim Registry and Alex OCT clinical trial. There were 56 patients enrolled, in whom 29 Prolim(®) stents were deployed, in 11-BiOSS LIM(®) and in 16-Alex stents. The late lumen loss was the smallest in Prolim(®) subgroup (0.26 ± 0.17 mm) and did not differ from Alex(®) subgroup (0.28 ± 0.47 mm). This parameter was significantly bigger in BiOSS(®) subgroup (0.38 ± 0.19 mm; p < 0.05). In OCT analysis there was no statistically significant difference between Prolim(®) and Alex(®) subgroups in terms of mean neointima burden (24.6 ± 8.6 vs. 19.27 ± 8.11%) and neointima volume (28.16 ± 15.10 vs. 24.51 ± 17.64 mm(3)). In BiOSS(®) group mean neointima burden (30.9 ± 6.2%) and mean neointima volume (44.9 ± 4.9 mm(3)) were significantly larger. The morphological analysis revealed that in most cases in all groups the neointima was homogenous with plaque presence only around stent struts. In the QCA and OCT analysis regular DES (Prolim(®) and Alex(®)) obtained similar results, whereas more pronounced response from the vessel wall was found in the BiOSS(®) subgroup.

Concepts: Statistics, Optics, Cardiology, Atheroma, Statistical significance, Radiology, Restenosis, Drug-eluting stent


Interventional cardiovascular magnetic resonance (iCMR) might evolve as a technique to improve procedural success rates in cardiovascular interventions by combining intraprocedural guidance and simultaneous lesion imaging. The objective of the present study was to prove feasibility and estimate safety of renal sympathetic denervation guided by real-time iCMR using active tracking. Six pigs were examined in a 1.5 T MRI-System (Achieva, Philips Healthcare, Best, Netherlands) equipped with non-invasive hemodynamic control and in-room monitors displaying an interventional software platform [Interventional MRI Suite (iSuite), Philips Research, Hamburg, Germany]. MR-guided renal denervation was performed using a MR conditional non-irrigated ablation catheter with active tracking (Imricor, Burnsville, MN, USA). Real-time imaging for device guidance was performed with a TFE sequence, vessel patency was assessed with a 3D non-contrast angiography and velocity encoded imaging. Oedema of the renal artery was visualized by a high-resolution T2 SPIR sequence. Renal sympathetic denervation was feasible in all cases with survival of all animals. Non-contrast angiography displayed renal artery patency accompanied by equal flow conditions before and after the ablation in all cases as measured by velocity encoded imaging. Oedema imaging displayed a significant increase in relative signal intensity at renal artery ablations sites pre and post intervention (p < 0.05). The histologic examination revealed no signs of perforation or bleeding, while sufficient ablation lesions could be depicted. MR-guided renal sympathetic denervation using active tracking is feasible and the initial data suggest safety of this procedure. MR-guided renal sympathetic denervation offers the inherent strength of high soft tissue contrast thereby providing target information without the use of iodinated contrast agents or radiation.

Concepts: Blood, Medical imaging, Histology, Magnetic resonance imaging, Radiology, Intervention, Contrast medium, Radiocontrast