Objective: To determine the prognostic and therapeutic implications of stress perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) on the basis of the ischaemic cascade.
Setting: Single centre study in a teaching hospital in Spain.
Patients: Dipyridamole stress CMR was performed on 601 patients with ischaemic chest pain and known or suspected coronary artery disease. On the basis of the ischaemic cascade, patients were categorised in C1 (no evidence of ischaemia, n = 354), C2 (isolated perfusion deficit at stress first-pass perfusion imaging, n = 181) and C3 (simultaneous perfusion deficit and inducible wall motion abnormalities, n = 66). CMR-related revascularisation (n = 102, 17%) was defined as the procedure prompted by the CMR results and carried out within the next three months.
Results: During a median follow-up of 553 days, 69 major adverse cardiac events (MACE), including 21 cardiac deaths, 14 non-fatal myocardial infarctions and 34 admissions for unstable angina with documented abnormal angiography were detected. In non-revascularised patients (n = 499), the MACE rate was 4% (14/340) in C1, 20% (26/128) in C2 and 39% (12/31) in C3 (adjusted p value = 0.004 vs C2 and <0.001 vs C1). CMR-related revascularisation had neutral effects in C2 (20% vs 19%, 1.1 (0.5 to 2.4), p = 0.7) but independently reduced the risk of MACE in C3 (39% vs 11%, 0.2 (0.1 to 0.7), p = 0.01).
Conclusions: Dypiridamole stress CMR is able to stratify risk on the basis of the ischaemic cascade. A small group of patients with severe ischaemia—simultaneous perfusion deficit and inducible wall motion abnormalities—are at the highest risk and benefit most from MACE reduction due to revascularisation.
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Funding: This work was supported by the grants “Bayer” from the Spanish Society of Cardiology and “HERACLES” fom the “Spanish Ministry of Health”.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: The local ethics committee approved the research protocol. Informed consent was obtained from all subjects.