Intermediate-signal-intensity late gadolinium enhancement predicts ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Evan Appelbaum, Barry J. Maron, Selcuk Adabag, Thomas H. Hauser, John R. Lesser, Tammy S. Haas, Anne B. Riley, Caitlin J. Harrigan, Francesca N. Delling, James E. Udelson, C. Michael Gibson, Warren J. Manning, Martin S. Maron

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57 Scopus citations


Background-In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the arrhythmic potential associated with a variety of left ventricular myocardial signal intensities evident on contrast-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance with late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) is unresolved. Methods and Results-In 145 HCM patients (43±15 years old), visually identified areas of LGE in left ventricle were analyzed quantitatively for intermediate (≥4 but <6 SD) and high (≥6 SD above the mean signal intensity of normal myocardium) LGE signal intensity (LGE-SI). Ambulatory Holter ECGs were obtained within 7.8±8.3 weeks of cardiovascular magnetic resonance. HCM patients with nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, ventricular couplets, and premature ventricular contractions showed greater amounts of intermediate LGE-SI (17±7 versus 10±10 g, 16±10 versus 10±11 g, and 13±8 versus 10±13 g, respectively; P0.003 to 0.001) and greater amounts of high LGE-SI (15±6 versus 10±8 g, 14±9 versus 10±12 g, and 12±7 versus 10±8 g, respectively; P0.02- 0.003) than patients without these arrhythmias. In HCM patients with either nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, couplets, or premature ventricular contractions, the extent of intermediate LGE-SI exceeded that of high LGE-SI (17±7 versus 15±6 g, 16±10 versus 14±9 g, and 13±8 versus 12±7 g, respectively; P0.01- 0.04). In addition, the receiver operating characteristic area under the curve established intermediate LGE-SI as a better discriminator of patients with nonsustained ventricular tachycardia than was high LGE-SI, with 7 additional patients with this arrhythmia identified. Conclusions-In patients with HCM, intermediate LGE-SI is a better predictor of ventricular tachyarrhythmias (including nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, a risk factor for sudden death) than is high LGE-SI. Longitudinal studies in larger HCM cohorts are justified to define the independent prognostic impact of intermediate LGE-SI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Arrhythmias
  • Cardiac
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Gadolinium
  • Hypertrophic
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Tissues


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