Background: Two-dimensional echocardiography images obtained at end-diastole and end-systole and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images obtained at end-diastole represent the three imaging methodologies validated for diagnosis of left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC). No study has compared these methodologies in assessing the magnitude of non-compaction.
Aims: To compare two-dimensional echocardiography with CMR in the evaluation of patients with suspected LVNC.
Methods: Sixteen patients (48+/-17 years) with LVNC underwent echocardiography and CMR within the same week. Echocardiography images obtained at end-diastole and end-systole were compared in a blinded fashion with those obtained by CMR at end-diastole to assess non-compaction in 17 anatomical segments.
Results: All segments could be analysed by CMR, whereas only 238 (87.5%) and 237 (87.1%) could be analysed by echocardiography at end-diastole and end-systole, respectively (p=0.002). Among the analysable segments, a two-layered structure was observed in 54.0% by CMR, 42.9% by echocardiography at end-diastole and 41.4% by echocardiography at end-systole (p=0.006). Similar distribution patterns were observed with the two echocardiographic methodologies. However, compared with echocardiography, CMR identified a higher rate of two-layered structures in the anterior, anterolateral, inferolateral and inferior segments. Echocardiography at end-systole underestimated the NC/C maximum ratio compared with CMR (p=0.04) and echocardiography at end-diastole (p=0.003). No significant difference was observed between CMR and echocardiography at end-diastole (p=0.83). Interobserver reproducibility of the NC/C maximum ratio was similar for the three methodologies.
Conclusion: CMR appears superior to standard echocardiography in assessing the extent of non-compaction and provides supplemental morphological information beyond that obtained with conventional echocardiography.