© 2015 Treibel et al. Abstract Background: Diffuse myocardial fibrosis (DMF) is important in cardiovascular disease, however until recently could only be assessed by invasive biopsy. We hypothesised that DMF measured by T1 mapping is elevated in isolated systemic hypertension. Methods: In a study of well-controlled hypertensive patients from a specialist tertiary centre, 46 hypertensive patients (median age 56, range 21 to 78, 52% male) and 50 healthy volunteers (median age 45, range 28 to 69, 52 % male) underwent clinical CMR at 1.5 T with T1 mapping (ShMOLLI) using the equilibrium contrast technique for extracellular volume (ECV) quantification. Patients underwent 24-hours Automated Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM), echocardiographic assessment of diastolic function, aortic stiffness assessment and measurement of NT-pro-BNP and collagen biomarkers. Results: Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) revealed significant unexpected underlying pathology in 6 out of 46 patients (13 %; myocardial infarction n = 3; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) n = 3); these were subsequently excluded. Limited, non-ischaemic LGE patterns were seen in 11 out of the remaining 40 (28 %) patients. Hypertensives on therapy (mean 2.2 agents) had a mean ABPM of 152/88 mmHg, but only 35 % (14/40) had left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH; LV mass male > 90 g/m < sup > 2 < /sup > ; female > 78 g/m < sup > 2 < /sup > ). Native myocardial T1 was similar in hypertensives and controls (955 ± 30 ms versus 965 ± 38 ms, p = 0.16). The difference in ECV did not reach significance (0.26 ± 0.02 versus 0.27 ± 0.03, p = 0.06). In the subset with LVH, the ECV was significantly higher (0.28 ± 0.03 versus 0.26 ± 0.02, p < 0.001). Conclusion: In well-controlled hypertensive patients, conventional CMR discovered significant underlying diseases (chronic infarction, HCM) not detected by echocardiography previously or even during this study. T1 mapping revealed increased diffuse myocardial fibrosis, but the increases were small and only occurred with LVH.
Treibel, T. A., Zemrak, F., Sado, D. M., Banypersad, S. M., White, S. K., Maestrini, V., … Moon, J. C. (2015). Extracellular volume quantification in isolated hypertension - changes at the detectable limits? Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12968-015-0176-3