Trabeculation, myocardial function linked via cardiac MRI

Excess greater left ventricle (LV) trabeculation is associated with decreased average regional myocardial function, measured by myocardial strain. A team of researchers, examining MRIs of 1,123 individuals, found that average regional LV function was worse in those with greater LV trabeculation.

The study—led by Nadine Kawel-Boehm, MD, with the department of radiology and imaging sciences at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland—was published online Aug. 22 in Radiology.

The results supported the team’s hypothesis that LV function is in part dependent on the degree of trabeculated myocardium. The data also suggested a mechanical link between LV trabeculation and myocardial function.

“Even in fully adjusted models, the association of greater trabeculation with worse average regional function remained significant,” the authors wrote. “Not surprisingly, less sensitive measures of trabeculation and function (NCC and ejection fraction, respectively) did not reveal these associations.”

Also, using MRI as a surrogate, the researchers found no association between trabeculation and native or contrast-enhanced T1 time or extracellular volume.

Authors noted the cross-sectional design of the study prevented establishment of a causal interpretation of the findings.

“It remains unclear if hypertrabeculation leads to a deterioration of average regional function or if increased trabeculation might be an adaptive process resulting from impaired function,” Kawel-Boehm et al. wrote. “The present data indicate that hypertrabeculation might be an epiphenomenon of disease associated with impaired average regional function.”