Background: Prognosis in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is largely dependent on right ventricular (RV) function. However, recent studies have suggested the presence of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in PAH patients. The potential role of LV ischemia, as a contributor to progressive LV dysfunction, has not been systematically studied in PAH. We aim to assess the presence and extent of LV myocardial ischemia in patients with known PH and without obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), using oxygen-sensitive (OS) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and stress/rest CMR T1 mapping. Methods: We prospectively recruited 28 patients with right heart catheter-proven PH and no significant CAD, 8 patients with known CAD and 11 normal age-matched controls (NC). OS-CMR images were acquired using a T2* sequence and T1 maps were acquired using Shortened Modified Look-Locker Inversion recovery (ShMOLLI) at rest and adenosine-induced stress vasodilatation; ΔOS-CMR signal intensity (SI) index (stress/rest SI) and ΔT1 reactivity (stress-rest/rest T1 mapping) were calculated. Results: Global LV ΔOS SI index was significantly lower in PH patients compared with controls (11.1%±6.7% vs. 20.5%±10.5%, P=0.016), as was ΔT1 reactivity (5.2%±4.5% vs. 8.0%±2.9%, P=0.047). The ischemic segments of CAD patients had comparable ΔOS SI (10.3%±6.4% vs. 11.1%±6.7%, P=0.773) to PH patients, but lower ΔT1 reactivity (1.1%±4.2% vs. 5.2%±4.5%, P=0.036). Conclusions: Decreased OS-CMR SI and T1 reactivity signify the presence of impaired myocardial oxygenation and vasodilatory response in PH patients. Given their unobstructed epicardial coronary arteries, this is likely secondary to coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD).
- Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR)
- Coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD)
- Oxygen-sensitive cardiac magnetic resonance
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Stress/rest T1 mapping