Department of Medicine Publications


Utility of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance in Identifying Substrate for Malignant Ventricular Arrhythmias

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Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging





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Background- Sudden cardiac death (SCD) and sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (SMVT) are frequently associated with prior or acute myocardial injury. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) provides morphological, functional, and tissue characterization in a single setting. We sought to evaluate the diagnostic yield of CMR-based imaging versus non-CMR-based imaging in patients with resuscitated SCD or SMVT. Methods and Results- Eighty-two patients with resuscitated SCD or SMVT underwent routine non-CMR imaging, followed by a CMR protocol with comprehensive tissue characterization. Clinical reports of non-CMR imaging studies were blindly adjudicated and used to assign each patient to 1 of 7 diagnostic categories. CMR imaging was blindly interpreted using a standardized algorithm used to assign a patient diagnosis category in a similar fashion. The diagnostic yield of CMR-based and non-CMR-based imaging, as well as the impact of the former on diagnosis reclassification, was established. Relevant myocardial disease was identified in 51% of patients using non-CMR-based imaging and in 74% using CMR-based imaging (P=0.002). Forty-one patients (50%) were reassigned to a new or alternate diagnosis using CMR-based imaging, including 15 (18%) with unsuspected acute myocardial injury. Twenty patients (24%) had no abnormality by non-CMR imaging but showed clinically relevant myocardial disease by CMR imaging. Conclusions- CMR-based imaging provides a robust diagnostic yield in patients presenting with resuscitated SCD or SMVT and incrementally identifies clinically unsuspected acute myocardial injury. When compared with non-CMR-based imaging, a new or alternate myocardial disease process may be identified in half of these patients.


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