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J Nucl Med. 2019 Jan;60(1):79-85. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.118.211698. Epub 2018 Jun 29.

Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) Substrate Characteristics: Insights from Multimodality Structural and Functional Imaging of the VT Substrate Using Cardiac MRI Scar, 123I-Metaiodobenzylguanidine SPECT Innervation, and Bipolar Voltage.

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Maryland Arrhythmia and Cardiology Imaging Group (MACIG), Baltimore, Maryland.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and.
Biosense Webster, Haifa, Israel.
Maryland Arrhythmia and Cardiology Imaging Group (MACIG), Baltimore, Maryland


Postischemic adaptation results in characteristic myocardial structural and functional changes in the ventricular tachycardia (VT) substrate. The aim of this study was to compare myocardial structural and functional adaptations (late gadolinium enhancement/abnormal innervation) with detailed VT mapping data to identify regional heterogeneities in postischemic changes. Methods: Fifteen patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy and drug-refractory VT underwent late gadolinium enhancement cardiac MRI (CMR), 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine SPECT, and high-resolution bipolar voltage mapping to assess fibrosis (>3 SDs), abnormal innervation (<50% tracer uptake), and low-voltage area (<1.5 mV), respectively. Three-dimensional reconstructed CMR/123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine models were coregistered for further comparison. Results: Postischemic structural and functional adaptations in all 3 categories were similar in size (reported as median [quartile 1-quartile 3]: CMR scar, 46.1 cm2 [33.1-86.9 cm2]; abnormal innervation, 47.8 cm2 [40.5-68.1 cm2]; and low-voltage area, 29.5 cm2 [24.5-102.6 cm2]; P > 0.05). However, any single modality underestimated the total VT substrate area defined as abnormal in at least 1 of the 3 modalities (76.0 cm2 [57.9-143.2 cm2]; P < 0.001). Within the total VT substrate area, regions abnormal in all 3 modalities were most common (25.2%). However, significant parts of the VT substrate had undergone heterogeneous adaptation (abnormal in <3 modalities); the most common categories were "abnormal innervation only" (18.2%), "CMR scar plus abnormal innervation only" (14.9%), and "CMR scar only" (14.6%). All 14 VT channel/exit sites (0.88 ± 0.74 mV) were localized to myocardium demonstrating CMR scar and abnormal innervation. This specific tissue category accounted for 68.3% of the CMR scar and 31.2% of the total abnormal postischemic VT substrate area. Conclusion: Structural and functional imaging demonstrated regional heterogeneities in the postischemic VT substrate not appreciated by any single modality alone. The coexistence of abnormal innervation and CMR scar may identify a particularly "proarrhythmic" adaptation and may represent a potential novel target for VT ablation.


cardiac imaging; cardiac innervation; multimodality imaging; ventricular tachycardia


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