The clinical course of an individual patient with heart failure is unpredictable with left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) only. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR)-derived myocardial fibrosis extent and to determine the cutoff value for event-free survival in patients with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) who had severely reduced LVEF.
Our prospective cohort study included 78 NICM patients with significantly reduced LV systolic function (LVEF < 35%). CMR images were analyzed for the presence and extent of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). The primary outcome was major adverse cardiac events (MACEs), defined as a composite of cardiac death, heart transplantation, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator discharge for major arrhythmia, and hospitalization for congestive heart failure within 5 years after enrollment.
A total of 80.8% (n = 63) of enrolled patients had LGE, with the median LVEF of 25.4% (19.8-32.4%). The extent of myocardial scarring was significantly higher in patients who experienced MACE than in those without any cardiac events (22.0 [5.5-46.1] %LV vs. 6.7 [0-17.1] %LV, respectively, = 0.008). During follow-up, 51.4% of patients with LGE ≥ 12.0 %LV experienced MACE, along with 20.9% of those with LGE ≤ 12.0 %LV (log-rank = 0.001). According to multivariate analysis, LGE extent more than 12.0 %LV was independently associated with MACE (adjusted hazard ratio, 6.71; 95% confidence interval, 2.54-17.74; < 0.001).
In NICM patients with significantly reduced LV systolic function, the extent of LGE is a strong predictor for long-term adverse cardiac outcomes. Event-free survival was well discriminated with an LGE cutoff value of 12.0 %LV in these patients.

Copyright © 2020 The Korean Society of Radiology.