Aims: Isolated ventricular non-compaction is a rare congenital cardiomyopathy with a high morbidity and mortality due to malignant arrhythmias and pump failure. Areas affected by non-compaction are characterized by increased trabecularization and deep inter-trabecular spaces. We hypothesized perfusion defects in these areas and performed positron emission tomography to evaluate the myocardial perfusion in non-compacted areas.
Methods and results: Five children (age 10-14 years) with isolated ventricular non-compaction underwent positron emission tomography using N-13-ammonia as flow marker and intravenous dipyridamole for stress testing. Myocardial blood flow was quantified using the positron emission tomography time-activity curves in non-compacted areas and normal myocardium, which were diagnosed by echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and angiography. Coronary angiography, performed in two children with extensive forms of left ventricular non-compaction, demonstrated normal coronary arteries. Myocardial blood flow measurements at rest and after dipyridamole application demonstrated 16-33% and 32-57% perfusion impairment, respectively, in non-compacted areas compared to normal myocardium. Areas of restricted myocardial perfusion corresponded well to the non-compacted areas, defined echographically and by magnetic resonance imaging.
Conclusion: Positron emission tomography demonstrates restricted myocardial perfusion and decreased flow reserve in areas of ventricular non-compaction in children. The myocardial perfusion defects in non-compacted areas may be the cause of myocardial damage and possibly form the basis of arrhythmias and pump failure.
Copyright 1999 The European Society of Cardiology.