In a previous analysis of a post-myocardial infarction (MI) cohort, abnormally high systemic vascular resistances (SVR) were shown to be frequently revealed by MRI during the healing period, independently of MI severity, giving evidence of vascular dysfunction and limiting further recovery of cardiac function. The present ancillary and exploratory analysis of the same cohort was aimed at characterizing those patients suffering from high SVR remotely from MI with a large a panel of cardiovascular MRI parameters and blood biomarkers.
MRI and blood sampling were performed 2-4 days after a reperfused MI and 6 months thereafter in 121 patients. SVR were monitored with a phase-contrast MRI sequence and patients with abnormally high SVR at 6-months were characterized through MRI parameters and blood biomarkers, including Galectin-3, an indicator of cardiovascular inflammation and fibrosis after MI. SVR were normal at 6-months in 90 patients (SVR-) and abnormally high in 31 among whom 21 already had high SVR at the acute phase (SVR++) while 10 did not (SVR+).
When compared with SVR-, both SVR+ and SVR++ exhibited lower recovery in cardiac function from baseline to 6-months, while baseline levels of Galectin-3 were significantly different in both SVR+ (median: 14.4 (interquartile range: 12.3-16.7) ng.mL-1) and SVR++ (13.0 (11.7-19.4) ng.mL-1) compared to SVR- (11.7 (9.8-13.5) ng.mL-1, both p < 0.05). Plasma Galectin-3 was an independent baseline predictor of high SVR at 6-months (p = 0.002), together with the baseline levels of SVR and left ventricular end-diastolic volume, whereas indices of MI severity and left ventricular function were not. In conclusion, plasma Galectin-3 predicts a deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-MI patients, an observation that could lead to consider new therapeutic targets if confirmed through dedicated prospective studies.