Progressive left ventricular dysfunction and myocardial fibrosis in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy: a longitudinal cardiovascular magnetic resonance study

  • Tadao Aikawa
  • Atsuhito Takeda
  • Noriko Oyama-ManabeEmail author
  • Masanao Naya
  • Hirokuni Yamazawa
  • Kazuhiro Koyanagawa
  • Yoichi M. Ito
  • Toshihisa Anzai
Original Article


This study examined the progression of left ventricular dysfunction and myocardial fibrosis in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) or Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) to evaluate the effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI). Ninety-eight cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) studies in 34 consecutive patients with DMD (n = 21) or BMD (n = 13) were retrospectively reviewed. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and the extent of myocardial late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) were semiautomatically quantified. During the study period, five patients had already been treated with ACEI at the first CMR; five were started on ACEI at LVEF ≥ 55% and 10 at LVEF < 55%. All patients had hyperenhanced myocardium on LGE images at the first CMR (median extent, 3.3%; interquartile range 0.1–14.3%). A mixed-effects model for longitudinal data of each patient, adjusted for age, type of muscular dystrophy, steroid use, and ACEI use showed that higher age (β = − 1.1%/year; 95% confidence interval [CI], − 1.8% to − 0.4%; p = 0.005) and no use of ACEI (β = − 3.1%; 95% CI, − 5.4% to − 0.8%; p = 0.009) were significantly associated with a lower LVEF. When ACEI use was stratified by time of initiation (LVEF ≥ 55% vs. < 55%), only ACEI initiation at LVEF < 55% had a beneficial effect on LVEF at each imaging examination (β = 3.7%; 95% CI, 0.9–6.4%; p = 0.010). ACEI use or the time of initiation of ACEI did not significantly affect age-related increase in LGE. ACEI attenuated the age-related decline in LVEF only in patients with DMD or BMD and reduced LVEF, suggesting that further investigation on prophylactic use of cardioprotective therapy in these patients is warranted.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy Becker muscular dystrophy Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging Late gadolinium enhancement Mixed-effects model 



We thank Drs. Yukitoshi Isikawa and Yuka Ishikawa for providing DMD/BMD-specific knowledge and insight and Kinya Ishizaka for technical assistance.


This study was funded by the Miyata Cardiac Research Promotion Foundation (to Tadao Aikawa). The funder had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation of data, or in the writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadao Aikawa
    • 1
  • Atsuhito Takeda
    • 2
  • Noriko Oyama-Manabe
    • 3
    Email author
  • Masanao Naya
    • 1
  • Hirokuni Yamazawa
    • 2
  • Kazuhiro Koyanagawa
    • 1
  • Yoichi M. Ito
    • 4
  • Toshihisa Anzai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascular MedicineHokkaido University HospitalSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsHokkaido University HospitalSapporoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyHokkaido University HospitalSapporoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, Graduate School of MedicineHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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