AIMS: Cardiomyopathies are common cardiovascular diseases in children. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) and echocardiography (Echo) are routinely applied in the detection and diagnosis of pediatric cardiomyopathies. In this study, we compared and explored the correlation between these two measurements in pediatric patients with various cardiomyopathies.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 53 pediatric patients with cardiomyopathy hospitalized during the recent 3 years in our hospital were analyzed. All of them and 22 normal controls were assessed by both cMRI and Echo. Cardiac function of the patients was graded according to the New York Heart Association functional classification. The cardiac function indexes measured with both cMRI and Echo included left-ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume, ejection fraction and fractional shortening. These parameters were somehow lower in cMRI measurements than in Echo measurements. The index of diastolic function, such as peak filling rate (PFR) measured with cMRI, had a good correlation with the clinical cardiac functional score, while the index of the diastolic function (early/atrial filling ratio and isovolumic relaxation time) measured with Echo was not well correlated with the clinical cardiac function score. Significant systolic dysfunction was detected by cMRI in 34 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, LV noncompaction or endocardial fibroelastosis. Significant diastolic dysfunction was detected by cMRI in 19 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or restrictive cardiomyopathy showing an alteration in PFR and EDV.
CUNCLUSIONS: Both cMRI and Echo are of great value in the diagnosis and assessment of cardiac function in pediatric patients with cardiomyopathy. cMRI could accurately display the characteristic morphological changes in the hearts affected with cardiomyopathies, and late gadolinium enhancement on cMRI may reveal myocardial fibrosis, which has obvious advantages over Echo measurements in diagnosis. Furthermore, cMRI can quantitatively determine ventricular function because it does not make invalid geometrical assumptions.