Late Gadolinium Enhancement and Arrhythmias. Introduction: The extent of left ventricular (LV) scar, characterized by late gadolinium enhancement cardiac MRI (LGE-CMR), has been shown to predict the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias in implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) recipients. However, the specificity of LGE-CMR for sudden cardiac death (SCD) versus non-SCD is unclear. The aim of this retrospective, observational study was to evaluate this relationship in a cohort of ICD recipients.
Methods and Results : We included consecutive patients who had undergone LGE-CMR before ICD implantation over a 4-year period (2006–2009). Scar (defined as myocardium with a signal intensity ≥50% of the maximum in scar tissue) was characterized in terms of percent scar and number of transmural LV scar segments in a 17-segment model. The endpoints were appropriate ICD therapy and all-cause mortality. Sixty-four patients (average age 66 ± 11 years, 51 male, median LVEF 30%) were included. During 42 ± 13 months follow-up, appropriate ICD therapy occurred in 28 patients (44%), and 14 patients (22%) died. Number of transmural scar segments (P = 0.005) and percentage LV scar (P = 0.03) were both significantly associated with appropriate ICD therapy. However, neither number of transmural scar segments (P = 0.32) or percent LV scar (P = 0.59) was significantly associated with all-cause mortality.
Conclusion : In this observational study, in medium-term follow-up, the extent of LV scar characterized by LGE-CMR was strongly associated with the occurrence of spontaneous ventricular arrhythmias but not all-cause mortality. We hypothesize that scar quantification by LGE-CMR may be more specific for SCD than non-SCD, and may prove a valuable tool for the selection of patients for ICD therapy. (J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, Vol. 24, pp. 430-436, April 2013)