Validating an Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy Diagnosis Using Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance: The Dilated Cardiomyopathy Precision Medicine Study

Circ Heart Fail. 2022 May;15(5):e008877. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.121.008877. Epub 2022 Mar 4.


Background: Coronary angiography to identify coronary artery disease has been foundational to distinguish the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), including the assignment of idiopathic or ischemic cardiomyopathy. Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has emerged as an approach to identify myocardial scar and identify etiology.

Methods: The DCM Precision Medicine Study included patients with left ventricular dilation and dysfunction attributed to idiopathic DCM, after expert clinical review excluded ischemic or other cardiomyopathies. Ischemic cardiomyopathy was defined as coronary artery disease with >50% narrowing at angiography of ≥1 epicardial coronary artery. CMR was not required for study inclusion, but in a post hoc analysis of available CMR reports, patterns of LGE were classified as (1) no LGE, (2) ischemic-pattern LGE: subendocardial/transmural, (3) nonischemic LGE: midmyocardial/epicardial.

Results: Of 1204 idiopathic DCM patients evaluated, 396 (32.9%) had a prior CMR study; of these, 327 (82.6% of 396) had LGE imaging (mean age 46 years; 53.2% male; 55.4% White); 178 of the 327 (54.4%) exhibited LGE, and 156 of the 178 had LGE consistent with idiopathic DCM. The remaining 22 had transmural or subendocardial LGE. Of these 22, coronary angiography was normal (13), showed luminal irregularities (3), a distant thrombus (1), coronary artery disease with <50% coronary artery narrowing (1), or was not available (4).

Conclusions: Of 327 probands enrolled in the DCM Precision Medicine Study cohort who had LGE-CMR data available, an ischemic-pattern of LGE was identified in 22 (6.7%), all of whom had idiopathic DCM as adjudicated by expert clinical review.

Registration: URL: https://www.

Clinicaltrials: gov; Unique identifier: NCT03037632.

Keywords: coronary angiography; coronary artery disease; dilated cardiomyopathy; gadolinium; magnetic resonance imaging; precision medicine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated* / diagnosis
  • Contrast Media
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / complications
  • Female
  • Gadolinium
  • Heart Failure*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precision Medicine
  • Predictive Value of Tests


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium

Associated data