Risk Factors for Heart Disease Tied to Patterns on Cardiac MRI

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Vascular risk factors associated with radiomics phenotypes on cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — There are independent associations for sex, age, and major vascular risk factors (VRFs) with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) radiomics phenotypes, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine.

Zahra Raisi-Estabragh, Ph.D., from Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues examined variation in CMR radiomics phenotypes by age and sex in healthy U.K. Biobank participants. Independent associations of classical VRFs with 237 CMR radiomics features were examined in a subset of 14,902 participants without cardiovascular disease or VRFs. A sample of individuals with at least one VRF matched to an equal number of healthy participants (27,400) was created.

The researchers found that among the healthy subset, men had larger ventricles with dimmer and less texturally complex myocardium than women. There was an association observed for increasing age with smaller ventricles and greater variation in myocardial intensities. All the VRFs were broadly associated with dimmer, less varied signal intensities, more uniformity of local intensity levels, and greater relative presence of areas of low signal intensity in the myocardium. There were also associations for diabetes and high cholesterol with smaller ventricular size; the association was of greater magnitude in men. In both men and women, the investigators observed a broadly consistent pattern of alteration of radiomics features with VRFs.

“As we’ve shown that these changes are associated with known major risk factors for heart disease, it’s very likely that they represent unhealthy changes to the heart muscle,” Raisi-Estabragh said in a statement. “However, more research is needed to confirm this.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.

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