Prognostic Role of Left Ventricular Intramyocardial Fatty Metaplasia in Patients with Previous Myocarditis (MYOFAT study).
Left ventricular Intramyocardial fat (LV-IMF) is often found in patients with previous irreversible myocardial damage and may be detected by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). No data are currently available about the prevalence of LV-IMF in patients with previous myocarditis. Our aim was to assess the prevalence of LV-IMF in patients with previous myocarditis by repeating after >3 years a follow-up CMR examination and to evaluate its clinical and prognostic role. Patients with clinical suspected myocarditis who underwent CMR within the first week from the onset of their symptoms and underwent repeated CMR were enrolled. LV-IMF was detected as areas of left ventricular intramyocardial “India ink” black boundary with or without a hyperintense core. Overall, in 235 patients with a definitive diagnosis of acute myocarditis, CMR was repeated after a median of 4 (3-6) years from symptom onset. LV-IMF positive patients (n=35, 15%) presented greater ventricular volumes and more frequently a mid-wall LGE than those without LV-IMF (both p<0.05). Patients presenting major cardiac events (sudden cardiac deaths, resuscitated cardiac arrest, and appropriate ICD-firing) at follow-up had a greater prevalence of LV-IMF than those without (55% vs 11%, p<0.001). Patients with LV-IMF had a higher incidence myocarditis relapse (27% vs 9%, p=0.003) and a greater risk of major cardiac events (p<0.0001) than those without. At logistic regression analysis, LV-IMF was an independent predictor of major cardiac events. In conclusion, LV-IMF is not an uncommon finding in patients with previous myocarditis and is associated with worse ventricular remodeling and prognosis.