Aims: To describe a method for measuring trabeculated left ventricular (LV) mass using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and to assess its value in the diagnosis of left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC).
Methods and results: Between January 2003 and 2008, we prospectively included 16 patients with LVNC. During the mean period, we included 16 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), 16 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and 16 control subjects. Left ventricular volumes, LV ejection fraction, and trabeculated LV mass were measured in the four different populations. The percentage of trabeculated LV mass was almost three times higher in the patients with LVNC (32 +/- 10%), compared with those with DCM (11 +/- 4%, P < 0.0001), HCM (12 +/- 4%, P < 0.0001), and controls (12 +/- 5%, P < 0.0001). A value of trabeculated LV mass above 20% of the global mass of the LV predicted the diagnosis of LVNC with a sensitivity of 93.7% [95% confidence interval (CI), 71.6-98.8%] and a specificity of 93.7% (95% CI, 83.1-97.8%; kappa = 0.84).
Conclusion: The method described is reproducible and provides an assessment of the global amount of LV trabeculation. A trabeculated LV mass above 20% of the global LV mass is highly sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of LVNC.