Subepicardial dysfunction leads to global left ventricular systolic impairment in patients with limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2I

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AimThe mechanisms of cardiac dysfunction in limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2I (LGMD2I) are unclear. This study assessed deficits in cardiac morphology, function, and metabolism quantitatively in patients with a confirmed genetic diagnosis of the homozygous c.826C > A FKRP (fukutin-related protein) mutation, using a comprehensive magnetic resonance (MR) examination.Methods and resultsTen patients (7 male and 3 female) and 10 matched control subjects were recruited prospectively. Cardiac morphology by cine imaging, cardiac torsion and strain by MR tagging, and cardiac energetics by phosphorus-31 MR spectroscopy were measured. LGMD2I subjects were found to have a significant reduction in peak cardiac torsion (3.9 ± 1.3° vs. 6.4 ± 1.5°, P = 0.04), and in the ratio of torsion to endocardial strain (0.31 ± 0.05 vs. 0.51 ± 0.14, P = 0.03), compared with control subjects. The impairment in torsion correlated strongly with reduction in EF (r = 0.93, P < 0.001). Peak circumferential and longitudinal strains were preserved in the patients, however [LGMD2I, 16.4 ± 3.2% vs. 18.3 ± 3.5%, non-significant (NS); and LGMD2I, 17.0 ± 3.0% vs. 18.4 ± 3.5%, NS]. Cardiac cine analysis demonstrated reduced EF (47 ± 7% vs, 58 ± 4%, P = 0.02) and stroke volume (61 ± 11 mL vs. 81 ± 13 mL, P = 0.04), though no evidence of LV hypertrophy was found. The ratio of phosphocreatine to ATP (PCr/ATP) was reduced in the LGMD2I subjects compared with controls (1.50 ± 0.24 vs. 1.94 ± 0.12, P = 0.0001).ConclusionsThe loss of torsion with preservation of circumferential and longitudinal strain in LGMD2I is a unique finding and suggests subepicardial dysfunction with abnormal transmission of force across the cardiac wall.

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