BACKGROUND: A routine diagnostic work-up does not identify structural abnormalities in a substantial proportion of patients with idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias (VAs). We investigated the added value of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in this group of patients. METHODS: A single-centre prospective study was undertaken of 72 patients (mean age 46 ± 16 years; 53% females) with frequent premature ventricular contractions (PVCs ≥ 500/24 h) and/or non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT), an otherwise normal electrocardiogram, normal echocardiography and no coronary artery disease. RESULTS: CMR provided an additional diagnostic yield in 54.2% of patients. The most prevalent diagnosis was previous myocarditis (23.6%) followed by possible PVC-related cardiomyopathy (20.8%), non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy (8.3%) and ischaemic heart disease (1.4%). The predictors of abnormal CMR findings were male gender, age and PVCs/NSVT non-outflow tract-related or with multiple morphologies. Patients with VAs had an impaired peak left ventricular (LV) global radial strain (GRS) compared with the controls (28.88% (IQR: 25.87% to 33.97%) vs. 36.65% (IQR: 33.19% to 40.2%), p < 0.001) and a global circumferential strain (GCS) (-17.66% (IQR: -19.62% to -16.23%) vs. -20.66% (IQR: -21.72% to -19.6%), p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: CMR reveals abnormalities in a significant proportion of patients with frequent idiopathic VAs. Male gender, age and non-outflow tract PVC origin can be clinical indicators for CMR referral.
cardiac magnetic resonance, feature-tracking CMR, myocardial strain, premature ventricular contractions, ventricular arrhythmia