Patients 32 patients with TTC were evaluated at a median of 2 days after presentation, along with 10 age-matched female controls. Extent of oedema was quantified both regionally and globally; scanning was repeated in patients with TTC after 3 months. Correlations were sought between oedema and the extent of hypokinesis, catecholamine release, release of N-terminal prohormone of B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and markers of systemic inflammatory activation (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and platelet response to nitric oxide).
Results In the acute phase of TTC, T2-weighted signal intensity was greater at the apex than at the base (p<0.0001) but was nevertheless significantly elevated at the base (p<0.0001), relative to control values. Over 3 months, T2-weighted signal decreased substantially, but remained abnormally elevated (p<0.02). The regional extent of oedema correlated inversely with radial myocardial strain (except at the apex). There were also direct correlations between global T2-weighted signal and (1) plasma normetanephrine (r=0.39, p=0.04) and (2) peak NT-proBNP (r=0.39, p=0.03), but not with systemic inflammatory markers.
Conclusions TTC is associated with slowly resolving global myocardial oedema, the acute extent of which correlates with regional contractile disturbance and acute release of both catecholamines and NT-proBNP.