Myocardial Bridging in Children with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - A Risk Factor for Sudden Death

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Abstract

Background

Myocardial bridging may cause compression of a coronary artery, and it has been suggested that myocardial ischemia may result. The clinical significance and prognostic value of myocardial bridging of the left anterior descending coronary artery in children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are unknown. We sought to determine the prevalence and clinical effects of myocardial bridging in children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who underwent cardiac catheterization.

Methods

Angiograms from 36 children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy were reviewed to determine whether myocardial bridging was present and, if so, to assess the characteristics of systolic narrowing of the left anterior descending coronary artery caused by myocardial bridging and the duration of residual diastolic compression. We also reviewed clinical data on these patients.

Results

Myocardial bridging was present in 10 (28 percent) of the patients. Compression of the left anterior descending coronary artery persisted for a mean (+/-SD) of 50+/-17 percent of diastole. As compared with patients without bridging, patients with bridging had a greater incidence of chest pain (60 percent vs. 19 percent, P=0.04), cardiac arrest with subsequent resuscitation (50 percent vs. 4 percent, P=0.004), and ventricular tachycardia (80 percent vs. 8 percent, P<0.001). On average, the patients with bridging had a reduction in systolic blood pressure with exercise of 17+/-27 mm Hg, as compared with an elevation of 43+/-31 mm Hg in those without bridging (P<0.001). The patients with bridging also had greater ST-segment depression with exercise (median, 5 vs. 0 mm, P=0.004) and a shorter duration of exercise (mean, 6.6+/-2.4 vs. 9.1+/-1.4 minutes, P=0.008). The degree of dispersion of the QT interval corrected for heart rate on the electrocardiogram was greater in patients with bridging than in those without bridging (104+/-46 vs. 48+/-31 msec, P=0.002). Kaplan-Meier estimates of the proportions of patients who had not died or had cardiac arrest with subsequent resuscitation five years after the diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy were 67 percent among patients with bridging and 94 percent among those without bridging (P=0.004).

Conclusions

Myocardial bridging is associated with a poor outcome in children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Our observations suggest that bridging is associated with myocardial ischemia. (N Engl J Med 1998;339:1201-9.)

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