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BACKGROUND: Myocardial fibrosis, as diagnosed on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) by late gadolinium enhancement (LGE), is associated with adverse outcomes in adults with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), but its prevalence and magnitude in children with HCM have not been established. We investigated: (1) the prevalence and extent of myocardial fibrosis as detected by LGE cMRI; (2) the agreement between echocardiographic and cMRI measurements of cardiac structure; and (3) whether serum concentrations of N-terminal pro hormone B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and cardiac troponin-T are associated with cMRI measurements.
METHODS: A cross-section of children with HCM from 9 tertiary-care pediatric heart centers in the U.S. and Canada were enrolled in this prospective NHLBI study of cardiac biomarkers in pediatric cardiomyopathy (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01873976). The median age of the 67 participants was 13.8 years (range 1-18 years). Core laboratories analyzed echocardiographic and cMRI measurements, and serum biomarker concentrations.
RESULTS: In 52 children with non-obstructive HCM undergoing cMRI, overall low levels of myocardial fibrosis with LGE >2% of left ventricular (LV) mass were detected in 37 (71%) (median %LGE, 9.0%; IQR: 6.0%, 13.0%; range, 0% to 57%). Echocardiographic and cMRI measurements of LV dimensions, LV mass, and interventricular septal thickness showed good agreement using the Bland-Altman method. NT-proBNP concentrations were strongly and positively associated with LV mass and interventricular septal thickness (P < .001), but not LGE.
CONCLUSIONS: Low levels of myocardial fibrosis are common in pediatric patients with HCM seen at referral centers. Longitudinal studies of myocardial fibrosis and serum biomarkers are warranted to determine their predictive value for adverse outcomes in pediatric patients with HCM.