Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess whether the presence and extent of fibrosis changes over time in patients with nonischemic, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) receiving optimal medical therapy and the implications of any such changes on left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and clinical outcomes. Background: Myocardial fibrosis on cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging has emerged as important risk marker in patients with DCM. Methods: In total, 85 patients (age 56 ± 15 years, 45% women) with DCM underwent serial CMR (median interval 1.5 years) for assessment of LVEF and fibrosis. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality; the secondary outcome was a composite of heart failure hospitalization, aborted sudden cardiac death, left ventricular (LV) assist device implantation, or heart transplant. Results: On CMR-1, fibrosis (median 0.0 [interquartile range: 0% to 2.6%]) of LV mass was noted in 34 (40%) patients. On CMR-2, regression of fibrosis was not seen in any patient. Fibrosis findings were stable in 70 (82%) patients. Fibrosis progression (increase >1.8% of LV mass or new fibrosis) was seen in 15 patients (18%); 46% of these patients had no fibrosis on CMR-1. Although fibrosis progression was on aggregate associated with adverse LV remodeling and decreasing LVEF (40 ± 7% to 34 ± 10%; p < 0.01), in 60% of these cases the change in LVEF was minimal (<5%). Fibrosis progression was associated with increased hazards for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio: 3.4 [95% confidence interval: 1.5 to 7.9]; p < 0.01) and heart failure–related complications (hazard ratio: 3.5 [95% confidence interval: 1.5 to 8.1]; p < 0.01) after adjustment for clinical covariates including LVEF. Conclusions: Once myocardial replacement fibrosis in DCM is present on CMR, it does not regress in size or resolve over time. Progressive fibrosis is often associated with minimal change in LVEF and identifies a high-risk cohort.
- cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging
- dilated cardiomyopathy
- myocardial fibrosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine