The value of cardiac MRI versus echocardiography in the pre-operative assessment of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Research paper by A A Brunklaus, E E Parish, F F Muntoni, S S Scuplak, S K SK Tucker, M M Fenton, M L ML Hughes, A Y AY Manzur

Indexed on: 07 Apr '15Published on: 07 Apr '15Published in: European Journal of Paediatric Neurology


Duchenne Mmuscular Ddystrophy (DMD) related cardiomyopathy is associated with significant perioperative mortality. Cardiac MRI (CMR) has not previously been systematically evaluated as pre-operative assessment tool for heart function in DMD. Our aim was to establish whether CMR versus echocardiography contributes to pre-operative DMD assessment.Case records were retrospectively reviewed of 35 consecutive DMD boys who underwent evaluation for surgical procedures between 2010 and 2013.Echocardiography revealed a median left ventricular (LV) shortening fraction (SF) of 29/% (range: 7-44). 37% of boys (13/35) had abnormal SF <25%, 66% (23/35) showed hypokinesia and 26% (9/35) had LV dilatation. CMR revealed a median left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 52% (range: 27-67%). 57% of boys (20/35) had abnormal LVEF <55%, 71% (25/35) had hypokinesia, and 82% late gadolinium enhancement. Extensive versus minimal late gadolinium enhancement was associated with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (48% vs 58%; p = 0.003) suggesting more severe cardiomyopathy. Although echocardiography shortening fraction correlated with CMR ejection fraction (rs = 0.67; p < 0.001), three-quarter of echocardiography studies had suboptimal scanning windows and in 26% measurements significantly over- or underestimated left-ventricular function compared to CMR.Our findings clearly demonstrate the added value of CMR versus echocardiography in assessing DMD-cardiomyopathy. Particularly when echocardiographic scanning windows are suboptimal, CMR should be considered to allow accurate pre-operative cardiac assessment.

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