Prevalence and significance of isolated left ventricular non-compaction phenotype in normal black Africans using echocardiography


Aurora Cardiovascular and Thoracic Services, Aurora Sinai/Aurora St. Luke's Medical Centers


Background: Several large, prospective screening studies of predominantly Caucasian patients have suggested that hypertrabeculation may not necessarily be pathologic unless there is concomitant left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, LV dilatation, history of arrhythmia, family history, or characteristic gene mutations. This conundrum may be magnified in blacks, in whom hypertrabeculation and LV hypertrophy is more common. We therefore investigated the frequency of hypertrabeculation/isolated LV noncompaction (ILVNC) phenotype in normal black Africans and evaluated LV function using sensitive measures of deformation and twist.

Methods: Two hundred and fifty-three volunteers were recruited and evaluated according to strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. Their mean age was 36.3 ± 12.2 years.

Results: Trabeculations were found in 12 (4.74%) participants. Three (1.2%) subjects had ≥ 4 LV trabeculations. The LV apex was the most common anatomical site for the location of trabeculations. Subjects with trabeculations were more likely to be males of a younger age, and had greater LV end-diastolic and end-systolic parameters and lateral e'. However, 0.8% of the population fulfilled the Stollberger criteria, and none fulfilled the Jenni, Milwaukee, or Baragwanath criteria. All subjects in this study had normal rotation patterns with no differences in rotational parameters or net twist.

Conclusions: Trabeculations may be found as a normal variant in black Africans. Assessing trabeculations alone may infer ILVNC; however, utilizing the more comprehensive ILVNC criteria enables differentiation of a possible LVNC phenotype. Normal individuals with hypertrabeculation have normal LV function and normal rotation patterns, with no differences in rotational parameters or net twist.

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