Cardiac MRI demonstrates compressibility in healthy myocardium but not in myocardium with reduced ejection fraction

Vinayak Kumar, Alexander J. Ryu, Armando Manduca, Chaitanya Rao, Raymond J. Gibbons, Bernard J. Gersh, Krishnaswamy Chandrasekaran, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Philip A. Araoz, Jae K. Oh, Alexander C. Egbe, Atta Behfar, Barry A. Borlaug, Nandan S. Anavekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The professional guidelines assume that the myocardial volume in systole (MVs) is equal to that in diastole (MVd), despite some limited evidence that points to the contrary. The aim of this manuscript is to determine whether this is true in healthy myocardium using gold standard cardiac MRI, as well as transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). The secondary aim is to determine whether there are similar MV changes in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Method: A prospectively derived cohort at Mayo Clinic of 115 adult subjects (mean age 42.8 years, 58% female) with no cardiac risk factors was identified. Cardiac MRI was obtained on all 115 patients, 51 of whom also consented to a TTE. MRI from a retrospectively derived cohort of 50 HFrEF patients was also collected. MVs and MVd was calculated using standard approaches with inclusion of the papillary muscles. Results: In the healthy population, MRI demonstrated MVs/MVd = 0.87 (SD 0.04) and TTE demonstrated MVs/MVd = 0.79 (SD 0.07), suggesting compressibility (p < 0.0001). In the 51 healthy patients who received both imaging modalities, MVs/MVd was 8.0% higher in MRI than TTE (p < 0.0001), but both modalities had MVs/MVd < 1 (p < 0.0001). A Bland-Altman plot demonstrated that as the mean MVs/MVd increases, the difference in MVs/MVd MRI-TTE declines (r = −0.53, p < 0.0001). However, in HFrEF populations, MVs/MVd = 1.01 (0.03), suggesting myocardial incompressibility. Conclusion: Contrary to currently accepted standards, healthy myocardium is compressible but HFrEF myocardium is incompressible. The ratio MVs/MVd merits further study in an expanded normal cohort and in disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Compressibility
  • Echocardiography
  • Healthy
  • Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction
  • MRI
  • Myocardial volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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