Coronary microvascular function and myocardial fibrosis in women with angina pectoris and no obstructive coronary artery disease: the iPOWER study

Naja Dam Mygind, Marie Mide Michelsen, Adam Pena, Abbas Ali Qayyum, Daria Frestad, Thomas Emil Christensen, Adam Ali Ghotbi, Nynne Dose, Rebekka Faber, Niels Vejlstrup, Philip Hasbak, Andreas Kjaer, Eva Prescott, Jens Kastrup

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6 Scopus citations


Background: Even in absence of obstructive coronary artery disease women with angina pectoris have a poor prognosis possibly due to coronary microvascular disease. Coronary microvascular disease can be assessed by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography measuring coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) and by positron emission tomography measuring myocardial blood flow reserve (MBFR). Diffuse myocardial fibrosis can be assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) T1 mapping. We hypothesized that coronary microvascular disease is associated with diffuse myocardial fibrosis. Methods: Women with angina, a clinically indicated coronary angiogram with <50 % stenosis and no diabetes were included. CFVR was measured using dipyridamole (0.84 mg/kg) and MBFR using adenosine (0.84 mg/kg). Focal fibrosis was assessed by 1.5 T CMR late gadolinium enhancement (0.1 mmol/kg) and diffuse myocardial fibrosis by T1 mapping using a modified Look-Locker pulse sequence measuring T1 and extracellular volume fraction (ECV). Results: CFVR and CMR were performed in 64 women, mean (SD) age 62.5 (8.3) years. MBFR was performed in a subgroup of 54 (84 %) of these women. Mean native T1 was 1023 (86) and ECV (%) was 33.7 (3.5); none had focal fibrosis. Median (IQR) CFVR was 2.3 (1.9; 2.7), 23 (36 %) had CFVR < 2 indicating coronary microvascular disease, and median MBFR was 2.7 (2.2; 3.0) and 19 (35 %) had a MBFR value below 2.5. No significant correlations were found between CFVR and ECV or native T1 (R 2 = 0.02; p = 0.27 and R 2 = 0.004; p = 0.61, respectively). There were also no correlations between MBFR and ECV or native T1 (R 2 = 0.1; p = 0.13 and R 2 = 0.004, p = 0.64, respectively). CFVR and MBFR were correlated to hypertension and heart rate. Conclusion: In women with angina and no obstructive coronary artery disease we found no association between measures of coronary microvascular disease and myocardial fibrosis, suggesting that myocardial ischemia induced by coronary microvascular disease does not elicit myocardial fibrosis in this population. The examined parameters seem to provide independent information about myocardial and coronary disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Angina pectoris
  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  • Coronary flow velocity reserve
  • Diffuse fibrosis
  • Doppler echocardiography
  • Extracellular volume
  • Microvascular dysfunction
  • Positron emission tomography
  • T1 mapping
  • Women


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