Ischemic Cardiomyopathy | Left Ventricular Structural Predictors of Sudden Cardiac Death

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) poses a significant health care challenge with high annual incidence and low survival rates. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) prevent SCD in patients with poor heart function. However, the critical survival benefit afforded by the devices is accompanied by short and long-term complications and a high economic burden. Moreover, in using current practice guidelines of reduced heart function, specifically left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)≤35%, as the main determining factor for patient selection, only a minority of patients actually benefit from ICD therapy (<25% in 5 years). There is an essential need for more robust diagnostic approaches to SCD risk stratification. This project examines the hypothesis that structural abnormalities of the heart itself, above and beyond global LV dysfunction, are important predictors of SCD risk since they indicate the presence of the abnormal tissue substrate required for the abnormal electrical circuits and heart rhythms that actually lead to SCD. Information about the heart's structure will be obtained from cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and used in combination with a number of other clinical risk factors to see if certain characteristics can better predict patients at risk for SCD.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - LVEF≤35%, referred clinically for ICD insertion for primary prevention purposes (i.e. no prior history of sustained ventricular arrhythmias) - Between the ages of 21 and 80 years old - Permission of the patient's clinical attending physician Exclusion Criteria: - Patients who refuse or are unable to give consent. - Individuals with contraindications to MRI (i.e. implanted metallic objects such as pre-existing cardiac pacemakers, cerebral clips or indwelling metallic projectiles) - Minors. - Pregnant women. - NYHA Class IV heart failure. - Chronic renal insufficiency with creatinine clearance<60 ml/min; acute renal insufficiency of any severity - Claustrophobia - Prior adverse reaction to gadolinium-based contrast

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Study Status


Start Date: October 2003

Completed Date: June 2020


Type: Observational


Primary Outcome: Composite SCD outcomes

Secondary Outcome: Composite cardiac outcomes

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Katherine Wu, MD

Lead Sponsor: Johns Hopkins University

Collaborator: Donald W. Reynolds Foundation

More information:

Schmidt A, Azevedo CF, Cheng A, Gupta SN, Bluemke DA, Foo TK, Gerstenblith G, Weiss RG, Marbán E, Tomaselli GF, Lima JA, Wu KC. Infarct tissue heterogeneity by magnetic resonance imaging identifies enhanced cardiac arrhythmia susceptibility in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. Circulation. 2007 Apr 17;115(15):2006-14. Epub 2007 Mar 26.

Fernandes VR, Wu KC, Rosen BD, Schmidt A, Lardo AC, Osman N, Halperin HR, Tomaselli G, Berger R, Bluemke DA, Marbán E, Lima JA. Enhanced infarct border zone function and altered mechanical activation predict inducibility of monomorphic ventricular tachycardia in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. Radiology. 2007 Dec;245(3):712-9. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

Wu KC, Weiss RG, Thiemann DR, Kitagawa K, Schmidt A, Dalal D, Lai S, Bluemke DA, Gerstenblith G, Marbán E, Tomaselli GF, Lima JA. Late gadolinium enhancement by cardiovascular magnetic resonance heralds an adverse prognosis in nonischemic cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Jun 24;51(25):2414-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.03.018.

Ouwerkerk R, Bottomley PA, Solaiyappan M, Spooner AE, Tomaselli GF, Wu KC, Weiss RG. Tissue sodium concentration in myocardial infarction in humans: a quantitative 23Na MR imaging study. Radiology. 2008 Jul;248(1):88-96. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2481071027.

Ardekani S, Weiss RG, Lardo AC, George RT, Lima JA, Wu KC, Miller MI, Winslow RL, Younes L. Computational method for identifying and quantifying shape features of human left ventricular remodeling. Ann Biomed Eng. 2009 Jun;37(6):1043-54. doi: 10.1007/s10439-009-9677-2. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

Bottomley PA, Wu KC, Gerstenblith G, Schulman SP, Steinberg A, Weiss RG. Reduced myocardial creatine kinase flux in human myocardial infarction: an in vivo phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Circulation. 2009 Apr 14;119(14):1918-24. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.823187. Epub 2009 Mar 30.

Strauss DG, Selvester RH, Lima JA, Arheden H, Miller JM, Gerstenblith G, Marbán E, Weiss RG, Tomaselli GF, Wagner GS, Wu KC. ECG quantification of myocardial scar in cardiomyopathy patients with or without conduction defects: correlation with cardiac magnetic resonance and arrhythmogenesis. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2008 Dec;1(5):327-36. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.108.798660. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

Strauss DG, Wu KC. Imaging myocardial scar and arrhythmic risk prediction--a role for the electrocardiogram? J Electrocardiol. 2009 Mar-Apr;42(2):138.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2008.12.010. Epub 2009 Jan 30. Review.

Arevalo HJ, Vadakkumpadan F, Guallar E, Jebb A, Malamas P, Wu KC, Trayanova NA. Arrhythmia risk stratification of patients after myocardial infarction using personalized heart models. Nat Commun. 2016 May 10;7:11437. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11437.

Zhang Y, Guallar E, Weiss RG, Stillabower M, Gerstenblith G, Tomaselli GF, Wu KC. Associations between scar characteristics by cardiac magnetic resonance and changes in left ventricular ejection fraction in primary prevention defibrillator recipients. Heart Rhythm. 2016 Aug;13(8):1661-6. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2016.04.013. Epub 2016 Apr 19.

Wu KC, Gerstenblith G, Guallar E, Marine JE, Dalal D, Cheng A, Marbán E, Lima JA, Tomaselli GF, Weiss RG. Combined cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and C-reactive protein levels identify a cohort at low risk for defibrillator firings and death. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2012 Mar;5(2):178-86. doi: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.111.968024. Epub 2012 Jan 20.

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