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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is excessively prevalent and premature in bipolar disorder (BD), even after controlling for traditional cardiovascular risk factors. The increased risk of CVD in BD may be subserved by microvascular dysfunction. We examined coronary microvascular function in relation to youth BD.
Participants were 86 youth, ages 13–20 years (n = 39 BD, n = 47 controls). Coronary microvascular reactivity (CMVR) was assessed using quantitative T2 magnetic resonance imaging during a validated breathing-paradigm. Quantitative T2 maps were acquired at baseline, following 60-s of hyperventilation, and every 10-s thereafter during a 40-s breath-hold. Left ventricular structure and function were evaluated based on 12–15 short- and long-axis cardiac-gated cine images. A linear mixed-effects model that controlled for age, sex, and body mass index assessed for between-group differences in CMVR (time-by-group interaction).
The breathing-paradigm induced a significant time-related increase in T2 relaxation time for all participants (i.e. CMVR; β = 0.36, p < 0.001). CMVR was significantly lower in BD v. controls (β = −0.11, p = 0.002). Post-hoc analyses found lower T2 relaxation time in BD youth after 20-, 30-, and 40 s of breath-holding (d = 0.48, d = 0.72, d = 0.91, respectively; all pFDR < 0.01). Gross left ventricular structure and function (e.g. mass, ejection fraction) were within normal ranges and did not differ between groups.
Youth with BD showed evidence of subclinically impaired coronary microvascular function, despite normal gross cardiac structure and function. These results converge with prior findings in adults with major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Future studies integrating larger samples, prospective follow-up, and blood-based biomarkers are warranted.
To evaluate the impact of fetal haemodynamics on surgical and neurodevelopmental outcomes in severe Ebstein anomaly and tricuspid valve dysplasia.
Thirty-four fetuses with Ebstein anomaly/tricuspid valve dysplasia were referred from 2013 to 2019 for fetal echocardiography and clinical management. Nineteen fetuses with Ebstein anomaly/tricuspid valve dysplasia and 30 controls underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance to quantify the fetal blood flow and to calculate cerebral oxygen delivery (cDO2) and consumption (cVO2). The 3D steady-state free precession acquisition was used to measure fetal brain volume. Surgical outcome, brain MRI, and neurodevelopmental follow-up were reviewed.
Twenty-six fetuses were live born (76%) and survival (65%) at a mean follow-up of 4 years. Nine fetuses had a brain MRI before discharge, and all had clinically silent injuries and volume loss. At 18 months, five single-ventricle patients had a neurodevelopmental delay in cognition and language (mean percentile: 11th), with gross-motor skills more affected than fine-motor skills (mean percentiles: 4th and 34th). Fetuses with Ebstein anomaly/tricuspid valve dysplasia had smaller brains, lower combined ventricular output, ascending aorta, superior caval vien and umbilical vein flows, lower oxygen saturation in ascending aorta and superior caval vien, lower cDO2 and cVO2 (p < 0.05). Superior caval vien/combined ventricular output and descending aorta/combined ventricular output ratios were lower in fetuses with circular shunt (p < 0.05). Fetuses requiring the Starnes procedure tended to have smaller brains, lower combined ventricular output, superior caval vien, descending aorta, and umbilical vein flows.
All patients with Ebstein anomaly/tricuspid valve dysplasia are at high risk of neurodevelopmental delay and warrant follow-up. Fetal cardiovascular magnetic resonance revealed impaired brain growth with diminished cerebral blood flow and cDO2, the extenting dependent on the severity of the haemodynamic compromise.
Advanced imaging techniques are enhancing research capacity focussed on the developmental origins of adult health and disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, and consequently increasing awareness of future health risks across various subareas of DOHaD research themes. Understanding how these advanced imaging techniques in animal models and human population studies can be both additively and synergistically used alongside traditional techniques in DOHaD-focussed laboratories is therefore of great interest. Global experts in advanced imaging techniques congregated at the advanced imaging workshop at the 2019 DOHaD World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. This review summarizes the presentations of new imaging modalities and novel applications to DOHaD research and discussions had by DOHaD researchers that are currently utilizing advanced imaging techniques including MRI, hyperpolarized MRI, ultrasound, and synchrotron-based techniques to aid their DOHaD research focus.
Using phase-contrast MRI in a foetus with borderline left ventricular hypoplasia at 37 weeks’ gestation we showed an increase in pulmonary blood flow during maternal hyperoxygenation. The associated increase in venous return to the left atrium, however, resulted in reversal of the atrial shunt, with no improvement in left ventricular output. The child initially underwent single ventricle palliation with a neonatal hybrid procedure, but following postnatal growth of the left ventricle tolerated conversion to a biventricular circulation at 5 months of age. We conclude that when there is significant restriction of filling or outflow obstruction across the left heart, neither prenatal nor postnatal acute pulmonary vasodilation can augment left ventricular output enough to support a biventricular circulation. Chronic pulmonary vasodilation may stimulate the growth of the left-sided structures allowing biventricular repair, raising the intriguing question of whether chronic maternal oxygen therapy might obviate the need for neonatal single ventricle pallation in the setting of borderline left ventricular hypoplasia.
To investigate the relationship between foetal haemodynamics and postnatal clinical presentation in patients with transposition of the great arteries using phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance.
A severe and irreversible form of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn occurs in up to 5% of patients with transposition and remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in these infants. Restriction at the foramen ovale and ductus arteriosus has been identified as a risk factor for the development of pulmonary hypertension, and this can now be studied with magnetic resonance imaging using a new technique called metric optimised gating.
Blood flow was measured in the major vessels of four foetuses with transposition with intact ventricular septum (gestational age range: 35–38 weeks) and compared with values from 12 normal foetuses (median gestational age: 37 weeks; range: 34–40 weeks).
We found significantly reduced flows in the ductus arteriosus (p<0.01) and foramen ovale (p=0.03) and increased combined ventricular output (p=0.01), ascending aortic (p=0.001), descending aortic (p=0.03), umbilical vein (p=0.03), and aorto-pulmonary collateral (p<0.001) flows in foetuses with transposition compared with normals. The foetus with the lowest foramen ovale shunt and highest aorto-pulmonary collateral flow developed fatal pulmonary vascular disease.
We found limited mixing between the systemic and pulmonary circulations in a small group of late-gestation foetuses with transposition. We propose that the resulting hypoxia of the pulmonary circulation could be the driver behind increased aorto-pulmonary collateral flow and contribute to the development of pulmonary vascular disease in some foetuses with transposition.
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