Stress Myocardial Blood Flow Heterogeneity Is a Positron Emission Tomography Biomarker of Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Dai Yin Lu, Hulya Yalçin, Fatih Yalçin, Min Zhao, Sanjay Sivalokanathan, Ines Valenta, Abdel Tahari, Martin Gilbert Pomper, Theodore P. Abraham, Thomas H. Schindler, M. Roselle Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC) are at increased risk of sudden cardiac death. Abnormalities in myocardial blood flow (MBF) detected by positron emission tomography (PET) are common in HC, but a PET marker that identifies patients at risk of sudden cardiac death is lacking. We hypothesized that disparities in regional myocardial perfusion detected by PET would identify patients with HC at risk of ventricular arrhythmias. To test this hypothesis, we quantified global and regional MBFs by 13NH3-PET at rest and at stress, and developed a heterogeneity index to assess MBF heterogeneity in 133 symptomatic patients with HC. The MBF heterogeneity index was computed by dividing the highest by the lowest regional MBF value, at rest and after vasodilator stress, in each patient. High stress MBF heterogeneity was defined as an index of ≧1.85. Patients with HC were stratified by the presence or the absence of ventricular arrhythmias, defined as sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) and/or nonsustained VT, during follow-up. We found that global and regional MBFs at rest and stress were similar in patients with HC with or without ventricular arrhythmias. Variability in regional stress MBF was observed in both groups, but the stress MBF heterogeneity index was significantly higher in patients with HC who developed ventricular arrhythmias (1.82 ± 0.77 vs 1.49 ± 0.25, p <0.001). A stress MBF heterogeneity index of ≧1.85 was an independent predictor of both sustained VT (hazard ratio 16.1, 95% confidence interval 3.2 to 80.3) and all-VT (sustained-VT + nonsustained VT: hazard ratio 3.7, 95% confidence interval 1.4 to 9.7). High heterogeneity of stress MBF, reflected by an MBF heterogeneity index of ≥1.85, is a PET biomarker for ventricular arrhythmias in symptomatic patients with HC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1089
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this