Prognostic Value of Nonischemic Ringlike Left Ventricular Scar in Patients With Apparently Idiopathic Nonsustained Ventricular Arrhythmias

Circulation. 2021 Apr 6;143(14):1359-1373. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.047640. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Abstract

Background: Left ventricular (LV) scar on late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) cardiac magnetic resonance has been correlated with life-threatening arrhythmic events in patients with apparently idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias (VAs). We investigated the prognostic significance of a specific LV-LGE phenotype characterized by a ringlike pattern of fibrosis.

Methods: A total of 686 patients with apparently idiopathic nonsustained VA underwent contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance. A ringlike pattern of LV scar was defined as LV subepicardial/midmyocardial LGE involving at least 3 contiguous segments in the same short-axis slice. The end point of the study was time to the composite outcome of all-cause death, resuscitated cardiac arrest because of ventricular fibrillation or hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia and appropriate implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy.

Results: A total of 28 patients (4%) had a ringlike pattern of scar (group A), 78 (11%) had a non-ringlike pattern (group B), and 580 (85%) had normal cardiac magnetic resonance with no LGE (group C). Group A patients were younger compared with groups B and C (median age, 40 vs 52 vs 45 years; P<0.01), more frequently men (96% vs 82% vs 55%; P<0.01), with a higher prevalence of family history of sudden cardiac death or cardiomyopathy (39% vs 14% vs 6%; P<0.01) and more frequent history of unexplained syncope (18% vs 9% vs 3%; P<0.01). All patients in group A showed VA with a right bundle-branch block morphology versus 69% in group B and 21% in group C (P<0.01). Multifocal VAs were observed in 46% of group A patients compared with 26% of group B and 4% of group C (P<0.01). After a median follow-up of 61 months (range, 34-84 months), the composite outcome occurred in 14 patients (50.0%) in group A versus 15 (19.0%) in group B and 2 (0.3%) in group C (P<0.01). After multivariable adjustment, the presence of LGE with ringlike pattern remained independently associated with increased risk of the composite end point (hazard ratio, 68.98 [95% CI, 14.67-324.39], P<0.01).

Conclusions: In patients with apparently idiopathic nonsustained VA, nonischemic LV scar with a ringlike pattern is associated with malignant arrhythmic events.

Keywords: arrhythmias; cardiac gadolinium; magnetic resonance angiography; prognosis.