Objectives: We sought to compare the myocardial velocity gradient (MVG) measured across the left ventricular (LV) posterior wall during the cardiac cycle between patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), athletes and patients with LV hypertrophy due to systemic hypertension and to determine whether it might be used to discriminate these groups.
Background: The MVG is a new ultrasound variable, based on the color Doppler technique, that quantifies the spatial distribution of transmyocardial velocities.
Methods: A cohort of 158 subjects was subdivided by age into two groups: Group I (mean [+/-SD] 30 +/- 7 years) and Group II (58 +/- 8 years). Within each group there were three categories of subjects: Group Ia consisted of patients with HCM (n = 25), Group Ib consisted of athletes (n = 21), and Group Ic consisted of normal subjects; Group IIa consisted of patients with HCM (n = 19), Group IIb consisted of hypertensive patients (n = 27), and Group IIc consisted of normal subjects (n = 33).
Results: The MVG (mean [+/-SD] s-1) measured in systole was lower (p < 0.01) in patients with HCM (Group Ia 3.2 +/- 1.1; Group IIa 2.9 +/- 1.2) compared with athletes (Group Ib 4.6 +/- 1.1), hypertensive patients (Group IIb 4.2 +/- 1.8) and normal subjects (Group Ic 4.4 +/- 0.8; Group IIc 4.8 +/- 0.8). In early diastole, the MVG was lower (p < 0.05) in patients with HCM (Group Ia 3.7 +/- 1.5; Group IIa 2.6 +/- 0.9) than in athletes (Group Ib 9.9 +/- 1.9) and normal subjects (Group Ic 9.2 +/- 2.0; Group IIc 3.6 +/- 1.5), but not hypertensive patients (Group IIb 3.3 +/- 1.3). In late diastole, the MVG in patients with HCM (Group Ia 1.3 +/- 0.8; Group IIa 1.4 +/- 0.8) was lower (p < 0.01) than that in hypertensive patients (Group IIb 4.3 +/- 1.7) and normal subjects (Group IIc 3.8 +/- 0.9). An MVG < or = 7 s-1, as a single diagnostic approach, differentiated accurately (0.96 positive and 0.94 negative predictive value) between patients with HCM and athletes when the measurements were taken during early diastole.
Conclusions: In both age groups, the MVG was lower in both systole and diastole in patients with HCM than in athletes, hypertensive patients or normal subjects. The MVG measured in early diastole in a group of subjects 18 to 45 years old would appear to be an accurate variable used to discriminate between HCM and hypertrophy in athletes.