Objectives: The aim of this study was to elucidate the clinical importance of a new subtype of apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that could not be diagnosed with the classical diagnostic criteria.
Background: Apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is recognized by a characteristic spade-shaped intraventricular cavity on the end-diastolic left ventriculogram in the right anterior oblique projection, often associated with giant negative T waves [negativity > or = 1.0 mV (10 mm)]. As an underlying cause of giant negative T waves, an additional new subtype of apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been identified.
Methods: In 40 patients with inverted T waves (negativity > or = 0.5 mV), including 26 patients with giant negative T waves, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) long-axis images corresponding to the left ventriculogram in the right anterior oblique projection and short-axis images at various levels, including the apical level, were obtained to define the site of hypertrophied myocardium.
Results: Long-axis images indicated a spadelike configuration in 17 patients, whereas this diagnostic configuration was not present in the other 23 patients. Nine of these 23 patients had significantly hypertrophied myocardium at the basal level. In the 14 remaining patients, short-axis images indicated no hypertrophy at the basal level and proved that the area of hypertrophied myocardium was confined to a narrow region of the septum or the anterior or lateral wall at the apical level (nonspade apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). The hypertrophied myocardium of the nonspade type was so narrowly confined that the mass did not form a spadelike configuration or could not be detected on the long-axis image.
Conclusions: Nonspade apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was newly identified on NMR short-axis images, and this could be an additional, important underlying cause of moderately to severely inverted T waves.