In vivo quantitative ultrasonic evaluation of myocardial fibrosis in humans.
The aim of this study was to assess in vivo whether the regional ultrasonic reflectivity, evaluated by a real-time integrated backscatter analysis, was related to the local content of connective tissue in human myocardium as estimated by quantitative histology of endomyocardial biopsies. Sixteen patients with presumptive diagnosis of cardiomyopathy were ultrasonically studied by means of an M-mode-based echocardiographic system with quantitative integrated backscatter analysis capabilities. A 2.25-MHz transducer was used. The integrated value of the rectified radiofrequency signal of the interventricular septum was taken as integrated backscatter index and expressed in percent normalized for the pericardial interface (assumed to be 100%). All patients also underwent multiple left ventricular endomyocardial biopsies, which were stained with Masson's trichrome and studied with the use of a computer-assisted image analysis system. The percent integrated backscatter index was significantly higher in the presence of connective tissue area greater than 20% (eight patients) versus less than 20% (eight patients): 51 +/- 25% versus 26 +/- 11%, p less than 0.05. A significant correlation (p less than 0.05, R = 0.55) was found between percent integrated backscatter index and percent connective tissue area. In vivo on-line quantitative ultrasound analysis is feasible in man and reliably identifies variations in the regional extent of fibrosis in human myocardium.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association