Tissue Doppler Imaging Consistently Detects Myocardial Contraction and Relaxation Abnormalities, Irrespective of Cardiac Hypertrophy, in a Transgenic Rabbit Model of Human Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
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Background—Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is diagnosed clinically by the presence of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). However, LVH is absent in a significant number of genotype-positive patients. Because myocyte dysfunction and disarray are the primary abnormalities in HCM, we reasoned that tissue Doppler imaging could identify contraction and relaxation abnormalities, irrespective of hypertrophy, in a transgenic rabbit model of human HCM.
Methods and Results—M-mode, 2D, Doppler echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging were performed in nontransgenic (n=24), wild-type β-myosin heavy chain-arginine403 (n=14), and mutant β-myosin heavy chain-glutamic acid403 (n=24) transgenic rabbits. Mean septal thicknesses were 2.0±0.3, 2.0±0.25, and 2.75±0.3 mm in the 3 groups, respectively (P=0.001). LVH was absent in 9 of the 24 mutant rabbits. Left ventricular dimensions, systolic function, heart rate, mitral inflow velocities, and time intervals were similar in the groups. However, the difference between atrial reversal and transmitral A wave duration was increased in the mutant rabbits (P<0.001). More importantly, systolic and early diastolic tissue Doppler velocities were significantly lower in all mutant rabbits (7.45±2.2 versus 10.8±2.3 cm/s in nontransgenic and 9.0±0.76 cm/s in wild-type; P<0.001), including the 9 without LVH. A systolic velocity <8.5 cm/s had an 86% sensitivity and 100% specificity in identifying the mutant transgenic rabbits.
Conclusions—Myocardial contraction and relaxation were reduced in the mutant β-myosin heavy chain-glutamic acid403 transgenic rabbit model of human HCM, irrespective of the presence or absence of LVH. In addition, tissue Doppler imaging is more sensitive than conventional echocardiography for HCM screening.
- Received March 22, 2000.
- Revision received June 2, 2000.
- Accepted June 11, 2000.
- Copyright © 2000 by American Heart Association