Introduction and objectives: Several trials have tested the diagnostic and prognostic value of stress cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) in ischemic heart disease. However, scientific evidence is lacking in the older population, and the available techniques have limitations in this population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of stress CMR in the elderly.
Methods: We prospectively studied consecutive patients referred for stress CMR to rule out myocardial ischemia. The cutoff age for the elderly population was 70 years. Stress CMR study was performed according to standardized international protocols. Hypoperfusion severity was classified according to the number of affected segments: mild (1-2 segments), moderate (3-4 segments), or severe (> 4 segments). We analyzed the occurrence of major events during follow-up (death, acute coronary syndrome, or revascularization). Survival was studied with the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate Cox regression models.
Results: Of an initial cohort of 333 patients, 110 were older than 70 years. In 40.9% patients, stress CMR was positive for ischemia. The median follow-up was 26 [18-37] months. In elderly patients there were 35 events (15 deaths, 10 acute coronary syndromes, and 10 revascularizations). Patients with moderate or severe ischemia were at a higher risk of events, adjusted for age, sex, and cardiovascular risk (HR, 3.53 [95%CI, 1.41-8.79]; P=.01).
Conclusions: Moderate to severe perfusion defects in stress CMR strongly predict cardiovascular events in people older than 70 years, without relevant adverse effects.