The relationship of left ventricular trabeculation to ventricular function and structure over a 9.5-year follow-up: The MESA study

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Background Left ventricular (LV) trabeculation is highly variable among individuals and is increased in some diseases (e.g.; congenital heart disease or cardiomyopathies), but its significance in population-representative individuals is unknown. Objectives The goal of this study was to determine if excessive LV trabeculation in population-representative individuals is associated with preceding changes in cardiac volumes and function. Methods For technical reasons, the extent of trabeculation, which is expressed as the ratio of noncompacted to compacted (NC/C) myocardium, was measured on cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) long-axis cine images in 2,742 participants in the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) (mean age 68.7 years; 52.3% women; 56.4% with hypertension; 16.8% with diabetes) at examination 5. These were considered in quintiles of trabeculation extent; the NC/C ratio of quintile 5 was 2.46 to 5.41. We determined the relationship between the maximal NC/C ratio and the preceding change (9.5 years between examinations 1 and 5) in end-systolic volume indexed (ESVi) to body surface area. Secondary analyses assessed the associations between the maximal NC/C ratio and preceding changes in end-diastolic volume indexed (EDVi) to body surface area and the ejection fraction (EF). Results Over 9.5 years, the ESVi decreased by 1.3 ml/m2, the EDVi decreased by 5.1 ml/m2, and the EF decreased by 0.6% (p < 0.0001). Even in subjects with excessive trabeculation, there were no clinically relevant differences in LV volumes and systolic function changes among the quintiles of trabeculation extent. Conclusions Greater extent of, and even excessive, LV trabeculation measured in end-diastole in asymptomatic population-representative individuals appeared benign and was not associated with deterioration in LV volumes or function during an almost 10-year period.




Zemrak, F., Ahlman, M. A., Captur, G., Mohiddin, S. A., Kawel-Boehm, N., Prince, M. R., … Petersen, S. E. (2014). The relationship of left ventricular trabeculation to ventricular function and structure over a 9.5-year follow-up: The MESA study. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 64(19), 1971–1980.

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