Predictors of myocardial fibrosis and response to anti-fibrotic therapy in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Gavin A. Lewis, Anna Rosala-hallas, Susanna Dodd, Erik B Schelbert, Simon Williams, Colin Cunnington, Theresa McDonagh, Christopher A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Myocardial fibrosis, measured using magnetic resonance extracellular volume (ECV), associates with adverse outcome in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). In the PIROUETTE (The Pirfenidone in Patients with Heart Failure and Preserved Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction) trial, the novel anti-fibrotic agent pirfenidone reduced myocardial fibrosis. We sought to identify baseline characteristics that associate with myocardial fibrotic burden, the change in myocardial fibrosis over a year, and predict response to pirfenidone in patients with HFpEF.

Methods: Amongst patients enrolled in the PIROUETTE trial (n=107), linear regression models were used to assess the relationship between baseline variables and baseline myocardial ECV, with change in myocardial ECV adjusting for treatment allocation, and to identify variables that modified the pirfenidone treatment effect.

Results: Body mass index, left atrial reservoir strain, haemoglobin and aortic distensibility were associated with baseline ECV in stepwise modelling, and systolic blood pressure, and log N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide were associated with baseline ECV in clinically-guided modelling. QRS duration, left ventricular mass and presence of an infarct at baseline were associated with an increase in ECV from baseline to week 52. Whilst QRS duration, presence of an infarct, global longitudinal strain and left atrial strain modified the treatment effect of pirfenidone when considered individually, no variable modified treatment effect on multivariable modelling.

Conclusion: Baseline characteristics were identified that associate with myocardial fibrosis and predict change in myocardial fibrosis. No variables that independently modify the treatment effect of pirfenidone were identified (PIROUETTE, NCT02932566).

Keywords: Heart failure, myocardial fibrosis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), extracellular volume (ECV)
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Jan 2022

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