AUTHORS: Ge Y, Antiochos P, Steel K, Bingham S, Abdullah S, Chen Y-Y, Mikolich JR, Arai A, Bandettini P, Shanbhag S, Patel A, Farzaneh-Far A, Heitner J, Shenoy C, Leung S, Gonzalez J, Shah D, Raman S, Ferrari V, Schulz-Menger J, Stuber M, Simonetti O, Kwong R

JACC Cardiovascular Imaging, 13(10): 2132–2145, October 2020



The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) in patients with reduced left ventricular (LV) systolic function.


Patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy are at risk from both myocardial ischemia and heart failure. Invasive testing is often used as the first-line investigation, and there is limited evidence as to whether stress testing can effectively provide risk stratification.


In this substudy of a multicenter registry from 13 U.S. centers, patients with reduced LV ejection fraction (<50%), referred for stress CMR for suspected myocardial ischemia, were included. The primary outcome was cardiovascular death or nonfatal myocardial infarction. The secondary outcome was a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, hospitalization for unstable angina or congestive heart failure, and unplanned late coronary artery bypass graft surgery.


Among 582 patients (mean age 62 ± 12 years, 34% women), 40% had a history of congestive heart failure, and the median LV ejection fraction was 39% (interquartile range: 28% to 45%). At median follow-up of 5.0 years, 97 patients had experienced the primary outcome, and 182 patients had experienced the secondary outcome. Patients with no CMR evidence of ischemia or late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) experienced an annual primary outcome event rate of 1.1%. The presence of ischemia, LGE, or both was associated with higher event rates. In a multivariate model adjusted for clinical covariates, ischemia and LGE were independent predictors of the primary (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.63; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.68 to 4.14; p < 0.001; and HR: 1.86; 95% CI: 1.05 to 3.29; p = 0.03) and secondary (HR: 2.14; 95% CI: 1.55 to 2.95; p < 0.001; and HR 1.70; 95% CI: 1.16 to 2.49; p = 0.007) outcomes. The addition of ischemia and LGE led to improved model discrimination for the primary outcome (change in C statistic from 0.715 to 0.765; p = 0.02). The presence and extent of ischemia were associated with higher rates of use of downstream coronary angiography, revascularization, and cost of care spent on ischemia testing.


Stress CMR was effective in risk-stratifying patients with reduced LV ejection fractions.

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