Soslow JH, Damon BM, Saville BR, et al. Evaluation of post-contrast myocardial t1 in duchenne muscular dystrophy using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Pediatric cardiology 2015;36:49-56
The objective of the study was to perform a retrospective pilot study to evaluate the potential of myocardial T1 in assessment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) cardiomyopathy. Early identification of DMD cardiac disease, particularly myocardial fibrosis, would allow earlier therapy, potentially improving outcomes. Shortened myocardial T1 measured by cardiac MRI (CMR) is a measure of cardiac fibrosis that may be detected before late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). We hypothesized that the post-contrast T1 obtained from the Look-Locker sequences (T1LL), an easily obtainable surrogate of myocardial T1, would be abnormally shortened in DMD compared with controls. T1LL measurement was performed on 21 DMD subjects and 11 controls; to account for individual variations in gadolinium distribution, myocardial T1LL was divided by blood pool T1LL, deriving T1LL ratios. DMD subjects had shorter mean T1LL ratio than controls (1.42 vs 1.72, p < 0.001). Subset analyses in DMD subjects with normal LVEF and without LGE also demonstrated significantly shorter T1LL ratio (-0.28, p < 0.001 and -0.25, p = 0.028). Post-contrast T1LL ratio is abnormally shortened in DMD compared with controls, even in DMD patients with otherwise normal CMRs. The application of more aggressive therapy for those with shorter T1LL may favorably alter morbidity and improve mortality associated with DMD cardiomyopathy. These data suggest that further prospective evaluation of myocardial T1 will be of benefit to patients with DMD.