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Am Heart J. 2000 May;139(5):905-12.

Myocardial integrated ultrasonic backscatter in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy: prediction of response to beta-blocker therapy.

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Third Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Osaka Medical College, Takatsuki City, Osaka, Japan.



Myocardial integrated backscatter (IB) imaging has been reported to be useful for ultrasonic tissue characterization and delineation of myocardial viability or fibrosis. beta-Blocker therapy has beneficial effects for patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), but there are no clear findings that indicate which patients with DCM will respond to this therapy. This study was performed to evaluate whether myocardial IB analysis can predict the response to beta-blocker therapy.


We prospectively performed echocardiographic examination with IB analysis in 29 patients with DCM (20 men, 9 women) before starting bisoprolol therapy and in 15 normal subjects. Standard echocardiographic examination and IB analysis in the left ventricular wall in the 2-dimensional short-axis view were performed and the magnitude of cyclic variation (CV) of IB and calibrated myocardial IB intensity (subtracted pericardial) were obtained from the interventricular septum and the left ventricular posterior wall. Sixteen patients responded to bisoprolol therapy and 13 did not respond after 12 months of full-dose therapy. Calibrated myocardial IB intensity was lower in responders relative to nonresponders in both the interventricular septum (responders, -20.1 +/- 3.6 dB vs nonresponders, -9.8 +/- 5.1 dB, P <.0001; controls, -20.1 +/- 4.4 dB) and posterior wall (responders, -20.6 +/- 3.6 dB vs nonresponders, -14.6 +/- 4.2 dB, P =.0002; controls, -22.7 +/- 3.3 dB). Also, the lower the myocardial intensity in the interventricular septum or posterior wall, the better left ventricular systolic function improved after beta-blocker therapy. However, CV was lower in both DCM groups than in the controls, and CV in the interventricular septum was lower in nonresponders than in responders (responders, 4.0 +/- 4.1 dB vs nonresponders, -0.8 +/- 6. 1 dB, P <.02; controls, 8.3 +/- 2.4 dB). In addition, CV in the posterior wall showed no difference between the 2 DCM groups (responders, 5.6 +/- 1.3 dB vs nonresponders, 5.1 +/- 3.5 dB, P = not significant; controls, 9.6 +/- 2.5 dB). Also, the percent fibrosis on right ventricular endomyocardial biopsy specimens showed no distinctions between these 2 groups (responders, 25.1% +/- 16.1% vs nonresponders, 24.9% +/- 15.0%, P = not significant).


These findings suggest that left ventricular myocardial IB data, especially IB intensity, provide useful information for predicting the response to beta-blocker therapy in patients with DCM. However, right ventricular endomyocardial biopsy findings do not appear to contribute to discriminating between the 2 groups.

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