Introduction: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a heterogeneous disorder of the cardiac sarcomere, resulting in myocyte hypertrophy and disarray, interstitial fibrosis, and cardiac dysfunction. Our aim was to determine whether the amount of fibrosis in HCM correlates with echocardiographic measures of diastolic dysfunction, presence of HCM-susceptibility mutations, or polymorphisms in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS).
Methods: Surgical specimens from patients with obstructive HCM undergoing septal myectomy at the Mayo Clinic (2001-2004) were examined and compared with autopsy-derived tissues from age- and sex-matched normal controls. Digital image analysis was used to quantitate the fibrosis in representative microscopic sections. Genotyping was performed for myofilament-HCM using polymerase chain reaction, high-performance liquid chromatography, and direct DNA sequencing. RAAS polymorphism status was similarly established.
Results: The study included 59 HCM cases and 44 controls. Patients with HCM exhibited more fibrosis (mean 17%, range 3-45%) than controls (mean 8%, range 3-17%) (P<.0001). A significant relationship existed between amount of fibrosis and maximum wall thickness (P=.02), left ventricular ejection fraction (P=.02), and peak early/late diastolic mitral annulus velocity (E/A ratio) (P=.002). Although there was no association between amount of fibrosis and myofilament-HCM genotype status or polymorphisms in the RAAS cascade, there was a trend toward more fibrosis in patients with > or =1 C-encoding allele in CYP11B2-encoded aldosterone synthase.
Conclusions: Patients with HCM undergoing septal myectomy had significantly more myocardial interstitial fibrosis than controls. The amount of fibrosis in HCM patients correlated with degree of septal hypertrophy and left ventricular systolic and diastolic function. Notably, neither mutations in cardiac myofilament proteins or polymorphisms in RAAS exhibited strong associations with severity of myocardial fibrosis.