Objectives: This study sought to analyze whether cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) can detect and quantify myocardial damage in the early stages of cardiomyopathy in muscular dystrophies (MD).
Background: Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease that involves skeletal and cardiac tissues of humans. Cardiomyopathy is common, and death secondary to cardiac or respiratory diseases occurs early in life. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance is a reliable method for assessing global and regional cardiac function, allowing also for the detection of myocardial fibrosis (MF).
Methods: Ten patients with Duchenne or Becker dystrophies were studied by CMR. Physical examination, Chagas disease serological tests, electrocardiogram, chest radiograph, total creatine kinase, and Doppler echocardiogram were also obtained in all patients.
Results: Patients with MF had a lower ejection fraction than those without. Myocardial fibrosis (midwall and/or subepicardial) was observed in 7 of the 10 patients, and the lateral wall was the most commonly involved segment. There was moderate correlation between segmental MF and dysfunction.
Conclusions: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance can identify MF and may be useful for detecting the early stages of cardiomyopathy in MD. Future work will be needed to evaluate whether CMR can influence cardiomyopathy and outcomes.