CT Scans Reveal Black-White Differences in Cardiac Morphology

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
John Nance, MD
Division of Cardiovascular Imaging, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Nance: There are known ethnic and racial disparities in the burden, morbidity, and mortality of cardiovascular disease. The causes, of course, are multifactorial, and range from genetic differences to healthcare access issues. Our goal was to further explore these differences by utilize a dataset encompassing black and white patients who had undergone a coronary CT angiogram for the assessment of acute chest pain. We compared various measures of myocardial morphology and function, namely myocardial mass, interventricular septal wall thickness, left ventricular inner diameter in diastole and systole, and ejection fraction. We found that black patients had significantly higher myocardial mass than whites despite adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and hypertension. Likewise, the septal wall was thicker in black patients. Interestingly, ejection fraction was slightly lower in black patients, but this finding was not statistically significant. 

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Nance: Clinicians and patients should be cognizant that there may be racial differences in cardiac morphology that are not explained by body size or hypertensive status, and morphologic measures (whether from CT, echocardiograms, or MRI) should be considered in addition to cardiac function when risk-stratifying patients and developing management plans.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Nance: We believe the next step is to further explore the race-specific prognostic value of various morphologic measures, particularly myocardial mass.


Am J Cardiol. 2015 Nov 18. pii: S0002-9149(15)02232-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.11.006. [Epub ahead of print]

Computed Tomography-Derived Parameters of Myocardial Morphology and Function in Black and White Patients With Acute Chest Pain.

Takx RA1, Vliegenthart R2, Schoepf UJ3, Abro JA4, Nance JW Jr4, Ebersberger U5, Bamberg F6, Carr CM7, Apfaltrer P8.

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More on Heart Disease on MedicalResearch.com

John Nance, MD (2016). CT Scans Reveal Black-White Differences in Cardiac Morphology

Last Updated on January 15, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD