Impact of the papillary muscles on cardiac magnetic resonance image analysis of important left ventricular parameters in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Neth Heart J. 2016 May;24(5):326-31. doi: 10.1007/s12471-016-0805-y.


Purpose: The use of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) analysis has increased in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Quantification of left ventricular (LV) measures will be affected by the inclusion or exclusion of the papillary muscles as part of the LV mass, but the magnitude of effect and potential consequences are unknown.

Methods: We performed Cine-CMR in (1) clinical HCM patients (n = 55) and (2) subclinical HCM mutation carriers without hypertrophy (n = 14). Absolute and relative differences in LV ejection fraction (EF) and mass were assessed between algorithms with and without inclusion of the papillary muscles.

Results: Papillary muscle mass in group 1 was 6.6 ± 2.5 g/m(2) and inclusion of the papillary muscles resulted in significant relative increases in LVEF of 4.5 ± 1.8 % and in LV mass of 8.7 ± 2.6 %. For group 2 these figures were 4.0 ± 0.9 g/m(2), 3.8 ± 1.0 % and 9.5 ± 1.8 %, respectively. With a coefficient of variation of 4 %, this 9 % difference in LV mass during CMR follow-up will be considered a change, while in fact the exact same mass may have been assessed according to two different algorithms.

Conclusions: In clinical HCM patients, CMR quantification of important LV measures is significantly affected by inclusion or exclusion of the papillary muscles. In relative terms, the difference was similar in subjects without hypertrophy. This underscores a general need for a uniform approach in CMR image analysis.

Keywords: CMR; Cardiac magnetic resonance; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Papillary muscles.