Methods: Late Gadolinium Enhancement (LGE) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging was performed in eight pigs with healed antero-septal infarcts. Seven pigs underwent electrophysiology study with venous arterial-extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) support. Tissue thickness, scar and heterogeneous tissue (HT) transmurality were calculated at the location of the diastolic electrograms of mapped VT-HC.
Results: Diastolic locations had median scar transmurality of 33.1% and a median HT transmurality 7.6%. Diastolic activation was found within areas of non-transmural scar in 80.1% of cases. Tissue activated during the diastolic component of VT circuits was thinner than healthy tissue (median thickness: 5.5 mm vs. 8.2 mm healthy tissue, p < 0.0001) and closer to HT (median distance diastolic tissue: 2.8 mm vs. 11.4 mm healthy tissue, p < 0.0001). Non-scarred regions with diastolic activation were closer to steep gradients in thickness than non-scarred locations with normal EGMs (diastolic locations distance = 1.19 mm vs. 9.67 mm for non-diastolic locations, p < 0.0001). Sites activated late in diastole were closest to steep gradients in tissue thickness.
Conclusions: Non-transmural scar, mildly decreased tissue thickness, and steep gradients in tissue thickness represent the structural characteristics of the diastolic component of reentrant circuits in VT-HC in this porcine model and could form the basis for imaging criteria to define ablation targets in future trials.