Magnetic resonance hyperpolarization imaging detects early myocardial dysfunction in a porcine model of right ventricular heart failure

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AIMS: Early detection of heart failure is important for timely treatment. During the development of heart failure, adaptive intracellular metabolic processes that evolve prior to macro-anatomic remodelling, could provide an early signal of impending failure. We hypothesized that metabolic imaging with hyperpolarized magnetic resonance would detect the early development of heart failure before conventional echocardiography could reveal cardiac dysfunction.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Five 8.5 kg piglets were subjected to pulmonary banding and subsequently examined by [1-13C]pyruvate hyperpolarization, conventional magnetic resonance imaging, echocardiography, and blood testing, every 4 weeks for 16 weeks. They were compared with a weight matched, healthy control group. Conductance catheter examination at the end of the study showed impaired right ventricular systolic function along with compromised left ventricular diastolic function. After 16 weeks, we saw a significant decrease in the conversion ratio of pyruvate/bicarbonate in the left ventricle from 0.13 (0.04) in controls to 0.07 (0.02) in animals with pulmonary banding, along with a significant increase in the lactate/bicarbonate ratio to 3.47 (1.57) compared with 1.34 (0.81) in controls. N-terminal pro-hormone of brain natriuretic peptide was increased by more than 300%, while cardiac index was reduced to 2.8 (0.95) L/min/m2 compared with 3.9 (0.95) in controls. Echocardiography revealed no changes.

CONCLUSION: Hyperpolarization detected a shift towards anaerobic metabolism in early stages of right ventricular dysfunction, as evident by an increased lactate/bicarbonate ratio. Dysfunction was confirmed with conductance catheter assessment, but could not be detected by echocardiography. Hyperpolarization has a promising future in clinical assessment of heart failure in both acquired and congenital heart disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • Metabolism, congenital heart disease, heart failure, magnetic resonance imaging

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