OBJECTIVES: Regional variability of longitudinal strain (LS) has been previously described with echocardiography in patients with cardiac amyloidosis (CA), however, the reason for this variability is not completely evident. We sought to describe regional patterns in LS using feature-tracking software applied to cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) cine images in patients with CA, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and Anderson-Fabry’s disease (AFD) and to relate these patterns to the distribution of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE).
METHODS: Patients with CA (n = 45) were compared to LV mass indexed matched patients with HCM (n = 19) and AFD (n = 19). Peak systolic LS measurements were obtained using Velocity Vector Imaging (VVI) software on CMR cine images. A relative regional LS ratio (RRSR) was calculated as the ratio of the average of the apical segmental LS divided by the sum of the average basal and mid-ventricular segmental LS. LGE was quantified for the basal, mid, and apical segments using a threshold of 5SD above remote myocardium. A regional LGE ratio was calculated similar to RRSR.
RESULTS: Patients with CA had significantly had worse global LS (-15.7 ± 4.6%) than those with HCM (-18.0 ± 4.6%, p = 0.046) and AFD (-21.9 ± 5.1%, p < 0.001). The RRSR was higher in patients with CA (1.00 ± 0.31) than in AFD (0.79 ± 0.24; p = 0.018) but not HCM (0.84 ± 0.32; p = 0.114). In CA, a regional difference in LGE burden was noted, with lower LGE in the apex (31.5 ± 19.1%) compared to the mid (38.2 ± 19.0%) and basal (53.7 ± 22.7%; p < 0.001 for both) segments. The regional LGE ratio was not significantly different between patients with CA (0.33 ± 0.15) and AFD (0.47 ± 0.58; p = 0.14) but lower compared to those with HCM (0.72 ± 0.43; p < 0.0001). LGE percentage showed a significant impact on LS (p < 0.0001), with a 0.9% decrease in absolute LS for every 10% increase in LGE percentage.
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of marked “relative apical sparing” of LS along with a significant reduction in global LS seen in patients with CA on CMR cine analysis may provide an additional tool to differentiate CA from other cause of LVH. The concomitant presence of a base to apex gradient in quantitative LGE burden suggests that the regional strain gradient may be at least partially explained by the burden of amyloid deposition and fibrosis.