Myocardial Fibrosis in Pediatric Patients With Ebstein's Anomaly

Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2021 Mar;14(3):e011136. doi: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.120.011136. Epub 2021 Mar 16.


Background: Left ventricular dysfunction in Ebstein's anomaly (EA) is associated with higher mortality. The health of the left ventricular myocardium in children and adolescents with EA has not been investigated in detail.

Methods: Patients with unrepaired EA who had undergone cardiac magnetic resonance imaging including T1 mapping were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were compared with age- and sex-matched controls. EA severity index was calculated using volumetric measurements at end diastole ([right atrial+atrialized right ventricular volumes]/[functional right ventricular+left atrial+left ventricular volumes]). Global circumferential and radial strain and as well as strain rate were examined using cardiac magnetic resonance feature tracking.

Results: Twelve EA patients and an equal number of controls were included. Functional and atrialized right ventricular end-diastolic volumes were 84±15 and 21±13 mL/m2, respectively. Late gadolinium enhancement, confined to the right ventricle, was found in 2 patients (16%). Left ventricular native T1 values and extracellular volume fractions were higher in patients compared with controls (1026±47 versus 956±40 ms, P=0.0004 and 28.5±3.4% versus 22.5±2.6%, P<0.001, respectively). Native T1 times correlated inversely with patients' age, body surface area, and O2 saturations (r=-0.63, -0.62, and -0.91, respectively; P=0.02, P=0.02, and P<0.0001, respectively). EA severity index ranged between 0.15 and 0.94 and correlated with T1 values (r=0.76, P=0.003). Native T1 correlated with global circumferential strain (r=0.58, P=0.04) but not ejection fraction (EF). EA patients had reduced maximum oxygen uptake (Vo2max). Vo2max correlated inversely with T1 values (r=-0.79, P=0.01).

Conclusions: Children and adolescents with EA experience an abnormal degree of diffuse myocardial fibrosis. Its association with O2 saturation points toward a role of hypoxemia in the pathogenesis of fibrosis. Larger and prospective studies are needed to evaluate the value of T1 mapping for risk stratification and monitoring in EA.

Keywords: fibrosis; heart defects, congenital; left ventricles; magnetic resonance imaging.