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The creatine kinase (CK) system is thought to play an integral role in maintaining levels of chemical energy in the form of ATP, which is essential for normal cardiac function. In the failing heart, it has long been established that multiple components of CK energy metabolism are commonly impaired and that these correlate with disease severity. A recent study published in Science Translational Medicine adds significantly to this body of evidence by demonstrating that the rate of ATP transfer via CK, measured noninvasively by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, is an independent predictor of adverse clinical outcome in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy. This finding invites speculation on the future role of metabolic imaging for risk stratification in patients with heart failure. The authors further assert an implied causal role for energetics in disease progression. Although this is not supported by recent findings in loss-of-function mouse models, there is, nonetheless, a strong argument for the development of novel metabolic therapies for the failing heart.

Original publication




Journal article


Circ Res

Publication Date





1228 - 1230


Adenosine Triphosphate, Creatine Kinase, Female, Heart Failure, Humans, Male