Background Myocardial fibrosis (MF) is a substrate for sudden cardiac death. Cardiac death is the commonest cause of death in stroke survivors. We recently showed that MF in stroke survivors can be treated by spironolactone and amiloride in a randomised placebo-controlled cross-over study.
Purpose To determine the prevalence of severe MF in stroke survivors, as evidenced by Procollagen carboxyl-terminal telopeptide (PICP) >127 µg/L (which is 78% specific and 75% sensitive at diagnosing severe fibrosis, as identified by histological assessment of myocardial biopsy). We also tested the hypothesis that PICP is associated with reversible cardiac pathologies in stroke survivors.
Methods 186 stroke survivors were studied. Patients who were known to have liver or lung fibrosis or recent surgery (within last 6 months), or atrial fibrillation were excluded at recruitment because these conditions can affect PICP levels.
The concentration of PICP was measured by radioimmunoassay using a kit from Orion Diagnostics, Finland (assay coefficient of variation; = 1.48%). Dipyridamole myocardial perfusion imaging was performed. Ejection fraction was determined using gated SPECT. Left ventricular mass index (LVMI) was determined by echocardiography.
Results 186 stroke survivors (111 male, 75 female) were studied. Severe MF is prevalent amongst stroke survivors. 36% (67 out of 186) had PICP >127 µg/L.
Stroke survivors with severe fibrosis were older [68 (8) vs 65 (10), p = 0.049], but had similar blood pressure (144/79 mmHg in severe fibrosis patients, vs 144/80 mmHg), history of angina or myocardial infarction and degree of inducible ischaemia (0, interquartile range (IQR) = 0–3, vs 0 (IQR 0–4), p = 0.79) when compared with those with lower PICP levels (Table 1). There was a very weak correlation between PICP and LVMI [r = 0.2, p = 0.011]. No correlation was found between PICP and ejection fraction or BNP levels at rest or QT dispersion (Table 2). Interestingly, stroke survivors taking ACE-inhibitors had less severe MF (Mantel-Haenszel OR = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.15–0.74; Fisher’s exact 2-sided p = 0.007).
Conclusions Severe MF is common in stroke survivors. Whilst a statistically significant association was found between MF and LVMI, the correlation is very weak.
- myocardial fibrosis
- stroke survivors
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.