Prognostic Value of Right Ventricular Function in Patients With Suspected Myocarditis Undergoing Cardiac Magnetic Resonance

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2023 Jan;16(1):28-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2022.08.011. Epub 2022 Oct 19.


Background: Risk-stratification of myocarditis is based on functional parameters and tissue characterization of the left ventricle (LV), whereas right ventricular (RV) involvement remains mostly unrecognized.

Objectives: In this study, the authors sought to analyze the prognostic value of RV involvement in myocarditis by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR).

Methods: Patients meeting the recommended clinical criteria for suspected myocarditis were enrolled at 2 centers. Exclusion criteria were the evidence of coronary artery disease, pulmonary artery hypertension or structural cardiomyopathy. Biventricular ejection fraction, edema according to T2-weighted images, and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) were linked to a composite end point of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), including heart failure hospitalization, ventricular arrhythmia, recurrent myocarditis, and death.

Results: Among 1,125 consecutive patients, 736 (mean age: 47.8 ± 16.1 years) met the clinical diagnosis of suspected myocarditis and were followed for 3.7 years. Signs of RV involvement (abnormal right ventricular ejection fraction [RVEF], RV edema, and RV-LGE) were present in 188 (25.6%), 158 (21.5%), and 92 (12.5%) patients, respectively. MACE occurred in 122 patients (16.6%) and was univariably associated with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), LV edema, LV-LGE, RV-LGE, RV edema, and RVEF. In a series of nesting multivariable Cox regression models, the addition of RVEF (HRadj: 0.974 [95% CI: 0.956-0.993]; P = 0.006) improved prognostication (chi-square test = 89.5; P = 0.001 vs model 1; P = 0.006 vs model 2) compared with model 1 including only clinical variables (chi-square test = 28.54) and model 2 based on clinical parameters, LVEF, and LV-LGE extent (chi-square test = 78.93).

Conclusions: This study emphasizes the role of RV involvement in myocarditis and demonstrates the independent and incremental prognostic value of RVEF beyond clinical variables, CMR tissue characterization, and LV function. (Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy Bern Registry [FlamBER]; NCT04774549; CMR Features in Patients With Suspected Myocarditis [CMRMyo]; NCT03470571).

Keywords: cardiac magnetic resonance; feature tracking; inflammatory cardiomyopathy; myocarditis; right ventricle; risk stratification.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiomyopathies*
  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocarditis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left
  • Ventricular Function, Right


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium

Associated data