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Dark-blood late gadolinium enhancement CMR improves detection of papillary muscle fibrosis in patients with mitral valve prolapse

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Caroline M Van De Heyning, Robert J Holtackers, Muhummad Sohaib Nazir, Julia Grapsa, Camelia Demetrescu, Lobke Pype, Amedeo Chiribiri

Original languageEnglish
Article number110118
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Early online date25 Dec 2021
E-pub ahead of print25 Dec 2021
PublishedFeb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The authors would like to thank the radiographers and administrative team at the Guy's and St Thomas? NHS Hospital Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Service for their cooperation. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s)

King's Authors


PURPOSE: Papillary muscle fibrosis may act as an arrhythmogenic substrate in patients with mitral valve prolapse (MVP). Previous studies used conventional bright-blood late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance (LGE CMR) imaging to assess papillary muscle fibrosis, although this technique suffers from poor scar-to-blood contrast which may limit its sensitivity, in contrast to dark-blood LGE. This study sought to compare bright-blood and dark-blood LGE for the detection of papillary muscle fibrosis in patients with MVP.

METHOD: 60 patients with known isolated MVP referred for CMR were prospectively recruited. A routine CMR protocol was used to obtain cine imaging, dark-blood LGE and bright-blood LGE in three long-axis views and a stack of short-axis views. Flow mapping of the proximal aorta was performed to calculate mitral regurgitant volume. Images were analysed for cardiac volumes, ejection fraction, mitral regurgitation severity, MVP characteristics (mitral annular disjunction, prolapse volume) and presence of LGE at the papillary muscles and myocardium.

RESULTS: Dark-blood LGE detected significantly more subjects with LGE at the papillary muscles than bright-blood LGE (35% vs 15%, p = 0.002). There was no difference between LGE techniques regarding myocardial (non-papillary muscle) fibrosis (present in 25% each). No statistical differences were observed between patients with or without LGE at the papillary muscles regarding demographics, clinical data (including ventricular arrhythmia) and MVP characteristics. Furthermore, no association was found between LGE at the papillary muscles and at the myocardium.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared to bright-blood LGE, dark-blood LGE CMR improves the detection of LGE at the papillary muscles in patients with MVP.

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