Phase-contrast magnet resonance imaging reveals regional, transmural, and base-to-apex dispersion of mechanical dysfunction in patients with long QT syndrome


      Regional dispersion of prolonged repolarization is a hallmark of long QT syndrome (LQTS). We have also revealed regional heterogeneities in mechanical dysfunction in transgenic rabbit models of LQTS.


      In this clinical pilot study, we investigated whether patients with LQTS exhibit dispersion of mechanical/diastolic dysfunction.


      Nine pediatric patients with genotyped LQTS (12.2 ± 3.3 years) and 9 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (10.6 ± 1.5 years) were subjected to phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging to analyze radial (Vr) and longitudinal (Vz) myocardial velocities during systole and diastole in the left ventricle (LV) base, mid, and apex. Twelve-lead electrocardiograms were recorded to assess the heart rate–corrected QT (QTc) interval.


      The QTc interval was longer in patients with LQTS than in controls (469.1 ± 39.4 ms vs 417.8 ± 24.4 ms; P < .01). Patients with LQTS demonstrated prolonged radial and longitudinal time-to-diastolic peak velocities (TTP), a marker for prolonged contraction duration, in the LV base, mid, and apex. The longer QTc interval positively correlated with longer time-to-diastolic peak velocities (correlation coefficient 0.63; P < .01). Peak diastolic velocities were reduced in LQTS in the LV mid and apex, indicating impaired diastolic relaxation. In patients with LQTS, regional (TTPmax-min) and transmural (TTPVz-Vr) dispersion of contraction duration was increased in the LV apex (TTPVz_max-min: 38.9 ± 25.5 ms vs 20.2 ± 14.7 ms; P = .07; TTPVz-Vr: −21.7 ± 14.5 ms vs −8.7 ± 11.3 ms; P < .05). The base-to-apex longitudinal relaxation sequence was reversed in patients with LQTS compared with controls (TTPVz_base-apex: 14.4 ± 14.9 ms vs −10.1 ± 12.7 ms; P < .01).


      Patients with LQTS exhibit diastolic dysfunction with reduced diastolic velocities and prolonged contraction duration. Mechanical dispersion is increased in LQTS with an increased regional and transmural dispersion of contraction duration and altered apicobasal longitudinal relaxation sequence. LQTS is an electromechanical disorder, and phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging Heterogeneity in mechanical dysfunction enables a detailed assessment of mechanical consequences of LQTS.


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