Timothy Wong, MD

Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Assessment of Diffuse Myocardial Fibrosis in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
University of Pittsburgh
Timothy Wong, MD – $308,000

Improving our understanding of fundamental disease pathways, such as scar tissue (fibrosis) development in the heart, may improve our ability to understand and treat a variety of heart conditions. Current therapy for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic heart disease, is focused on symptom relief rather than directly targeting underlying causes. Fibrosis appears to be a key disease process in HCM and is associated with adverse events, such as heart rhythm disorders, heart failure and sudden cardiac death. Previously, study of fibrosis had been limited to viewing the heart tissue under a microscope, which is not always feasible. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides a new and noninvasive way of imaging heart fibrosis. Specific new MRI methods now allow the measurement of diffuse fibrosis anywhere in the heart muscle, beyond current clinical MRI methods, which typically detect more concentrated areas of fibrosis. The Assessment of Diffuse Myocardial Fibrosis by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance in HCM (ADMIRE-HCM) Study plans to perform MRI heart scans in several hundred individuals with HCM to determine why some individuals have more or less fibrosis than others. Some individuals will also undergo repeat MRI scans to estimate how fibrosis changes over time. Finally, the study will characterize how fibrosis in individuals correlates with cardiovascular outcomes. Studying the role of the entire range of fibrosis in HCM disease progression may improve our understanding of the underlying pathways of the disease, identify new treatment targets and allow measurement of their response to therapy.