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Left ventricular hypertrophy by ECG versus cardiac MRI as a predictor for heart failure

Abstract

Objective To determine if there is a significant difference in the predictive abilities of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) detected by ECG-LVH versus LVH ascertained by cardiac MRI-LVH in a model similar to the Framingham Heart Failure Risk Score (FHFRS).

Methods This study included 4745 (mean age 61±10 years, 53.5% women, 61.7% non-whites) participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. ECG-LVH was defined using Cornell voltage product while MRI-LVH was derived from left ventricular mass. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to examine the association between ECG-LVH and MRI-LVH with incident heart failure (HF). Harrell's concordance C-index was used to estimate the predictive ability of the model when either ECG-LVH or MRI-LVH was included as one of its components.

Results ECG-LVH was present in 291 (6.1%), while MRI-LVH was present in 499 (10.5%) of the participants. Both ECG-LVH (HR 2.25, 95% CI 1.38 to 3.69) and MRI-LVH (HR 3.80, 95% CI 1.56 to 5.63) were predictive of HF. The absolute risk of developing HF was 8.81% for MRI-LVH versus 2.26% for absence of MRI-LVH with a relative risk of 3.9. With ECG-LVH, the absolute risk of developing HF 6.87% compared with 2.69% for absence of ECG-LVH with a relative risk of 2.55. The ability of the model to predict HF was better with MRI-LVH (C-index 0.871, 95% CI 0.842 to 0.899) than with ECG-LVH (C-index 0.860, 95% CI 0.833 to 0.888) (p<0.0001).

Conclusions ECG-LVH and MRI-LVH are predictive of HF. Substituting MRI-LVH for ECG-LVH improves the predictive ability of a model similar to the FHFRS.

  • ECG/electrocardiogram
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