Abstract: Background Cardiac involvement in liver cirrhosis in the absence of underlying cardiac disease is termed cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. The pathophysiology of this condition is still poorly understood. Purpose To investigate the extent of subclinical imaging changes in terms of fibrosis and inflammation and to explore the relationship between the severity of liver disease and the degree of myocardial involvement. Materials and Methods In this prospective study from November 2018 to December 2019, participants with liver cirrhosis and healthy control participants underwent hepatic and cardiac MRI. The multiparametric scan protocol assessed hepatic (T1 and T2 relaxation times, extracellular volume [ECV], and MR elastography-based liver stiffness) and cardiac (T1 and T2 relaxation times, ECV, myocardial edema, late gadolinium enhancement [LGE], and myocardial strain) parameters. Student t tests, one-way analysis of variance, Pearson correlation, and multivariable binary regression analysis were used for statistical analyses. Results A total of 42 participants with liver cirrhosis (mean age ± standard deviation, 57 years ± 11; 23 men) and 18 control participants (mean age, 54 years ± 19; 11 men) were evaluated. Compared with control participants, the participants with liver cirrhosis displayed reduced longitudinal strain and elevated markers of myocardial disease (T1 and T2 relaxation times, ECV, and qualitative and quantitative LGE). Myocardial T1 (978 msec ± 23 vs 1006 msec ± 29 vs 1044 msec ± 14; P < .001) and T2 relaxation times (56 msec ± 4 vs 59 msec ± 3 vs 62 msec ± 8; P = .04) and ECV (30% ± 5 vs 33% ± 5 vs 38% ± 7; P = .009) were higher depending on Child-Pugh class (A vs B vs C). Positive LGE lesions (three of 11 [27%] vs 10 of 19 [53%] vs nine of 11 [82%]; P = .04) were more prevalent in advanced Child-Pugh classes. MR elastography-based liver stiffness was an independent predictor for LGE (odds ratio, 1.6; 95% confidence interval: 1.2%, 2.1%; P = .004) and correlated with quantitative LGE (r = 0.67; P < .001), myocardial T1 relaxation times (r = 0.55; P < .001), and ECV (r = 0.39; P = .01). Conclusion In participants with liver cirrhosis, systolic dysfunction and elevated parameters of myocardial edema and fibrosis were observed at MRI, which were more abnormal with greater severity of liver disease. © RSNA, 2020 Online supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by de Roos and Lamb in this issue.
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