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Original Investigation
February 8, 2019

Prognostic Value of Vasodilator Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Multicenter Study With 48 000 Patient-Years of Follow-up

Author Affiliations
  • 1New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, New York, New York
  • 2Duke Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Center, Durham, North Carolina
  • 3Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, Houston, Texas
  • 4University of Illinois at Chicago
  • 5Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 6Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York
  • 7University of Minnesota Medical Center, Minneapolis
  • 8Heart Imaging Technologies, Durham, North Carolina
  • 9Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 10Editor, JAMA Cardiology
JAMA Cardiol. 2019;4(3):256-264. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2019.0035
Key Points

Question  Can the results of vasodilator stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging be associated with subsequent patient mortality?

Findings  In this multicenter study of 9151 patients followed up for up to 10 years, stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was strongly associated with patient mortality, both in the overall patient population as well as in a total of 14 different subpopulations.

Meaning  Stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging may be another noninvasive indicator of prognosis.


Importance  Stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is not widely used in current clinical practice, and its ability to predict patient mortality is unknown.

Objective  To determine whether stress CMR is associated with patient mortality.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Real-world evidence from consecutive clinically ordered CMR examinations. Multicenter study of patients undergoing clinical evaluation of myocardial ischemia. Patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) underwent clinical vasodilator stress CMR at 7 different hospitals. An automated process collected data from the finalized clinical reports, deidentified and aggregated the data, and assessed mortality using the US Social Security Death Index.

Main Outcomes and Measures  All-cause patient mortality.

Results  Of the 9151 patients, the median (interquartile range) patient age was 63 (51-70) years, 55% were men, and the median (interquartile range) body mass index was 29 (25-33) (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). The multicenter automated process yielded 9151 consecutive patients undergoing stress CMR, with 48 615 patient-years of follow-up. Of these patients, 4408 had a normal stress CMR examination, 4743 had an abnormal examination, and 1517 died during a median follow-up time of 5.0 years. Using multivariable analysis, addition of stress CMR improved prediction of mortality in 2 different risk models (model 1 hazard ratio [HR], 1.83; 95% CI, 1.63-2.06; P < .001; model 2: HR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.60-2.03; P < .001) and also improved risk reclassification (net improvement: 11.4%; 95% CI, 7.3-13.6; P < .001). After adjustment for patient age, sex, and cardiac risk factors, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a strong association between an abnormal stress CMR and mortality in all patients (HR, 1.883; 95% CI, 1.680-2.112; P < .001), patients with (HR, 1.955; 95% CI, 1.712-2.233; P < .001) and without (HR, 1.578; 95% CI, 1.235-2.2018; P < .001) a history of CAD, and patients with normal (HR, 1.385; 95% CI, 1.194-1.606; P < .001) and abnormal left ventricular ejection fraction (HR, 1.836; 95% CI, 1.299-2.594; P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance  Clinical vasodilator stress CMR is associated with patient mortality in a large, diverse population of patients with known or suspected CAD as well as in multiple subpopulations defined by history of CAD and left ventricular ejection fraction. These findings provide a foundational motivation to study the comparative effectiveness of stress CMR against other modalities.