Increased aortic stiffness is related to increased ventricular stiffness and remodeling. Myocardial fibrosis is the pathophysiological hallmark of failing heart. We investigated the relationship between noninvasive imaging markers of myocardial fibrosis, native T1, and late gadolinium enhancement, respectively, and aortic stiffness in ventricular remodeling. Consecutive patients with known dilated cardiomyopathy (n=173) underwent assessment of cardiac volumes and function, T1 mapping, scar imaging, and pulse wave velocity, a measure of aortic stiffness. Asymptomatic healthy volunteers served as controls (n=47). Controls and patients showed an increase in pulse wave velocity with age, which was accelerated in the presence of cardiovascular disease. On the contrary, native T1 increased with age in patients, but not in controls. Pulse wave velocity was associated with native T1 in the presence of disease, but not in health. Native T1 showed a strong relationship with markers of structural and functional left ventricular remodeling and diastolic impairment. Ischemic and nonischemic pathophysiology of ventricular remodeling showed a similar slope of relationship between pulse wave velocity and native T1. However, in nonischemic patients, increase in pulse wave velocity was associated with greater increase in native T1. Aortic stiffness is related to age, and this process is accelerated in the presence of disease. On the contrary, increase in interstitial myocardial fibrosis is associated with age in the presence of disease. Patients with ischemic and nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy have a similar relationship between native T1 and pulse wave velocity, which is stronger in the latter group.
Keywords: cardiomyopathy, dilated; endomyocardial fibrosis; vascular stiffness.
© 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.