Richard Steingart, Jonathan W. Weinsaft, Dipti Gupta, Samantha R. Goldburg, Jiwon Kim, Mathew J. Matasar, Angel T. Chan, Yuliya Lakhman, Darragh F. Halpenny, Andrew J. Plodkowski, Chaya S. Moskowitz, Shawn C. Pun
Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE-) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is well-validated for cardiac mass (CMASS) tissue characterization to differentiate neoplasm (CNEO) from thrombus (CTHR): Prognostic implications of CMASS subtypes among systemic cancer patients are unknown. CMASS + patients and controls (CMASS -) matched for cancer diagnosis and stage underwent a standardized CMR protocol, including LGE-CMR (IR-GRE) for tissue characterization and balanced steady state free precession cine-CMR (SSFP) for cardiac structure/function. CMASS subtypes (CNEO, CTHR) were respectively defined by presence or absence of enhancement on LGE-CMR; lesions were quantified for tissue properties (contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR); signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and size. Clinical follow-up was performed to evaluate prognosis in relation to CMASS etiology. The study population comprised 126 patients with systemic neoplasms referred for CMR, of whom 50% (n = 63) had CMASS + (CNEO = 32%, CTHR = 18%). Cancer etiology differed between CNEO (sarcoma = 20%, lung = 18%) and CTHR (lymphoma = 30%, GI = 26%); cardiac function (left ventricular ejection fraction: 63 ± 9 vs. 62 ± 10%; p = 0.51∣ right ventricular ejection fraction: 53 ± 9 vs. 54 ± 8%; p = 0.47) and geometric indices were similar (all p = NS). LGE-CMR tissue properties assessed by CNR (13.1 ± 13.0 vs. 1.6 ± 1.0; p < 0.001) and SNR (29.7 ± 20.4 vs. 15.0 ± 11.4, p = 0.003) were higher for CNEO, consistent with visually-assigned diagnostic categories. CTHR were more likely to localize to the right atrium (78% vs. 25%, p < 0.001); nearly all (17/18) were associated with central catheters. Lesion size (17.3 ± 23.8 vs. 2.0 ± 1.5 cm2; p < 0.001) was greater with CNEO vs. CTHR, as was systemic disease burden (cancer-involved organs: 3.6 ± 2.0 vs. 2.3 ± 2.1; p = 0.02). Mortality during a median follow-up of 2.5 years was markedly higher among patients with CNEO compared to those with CTHR (HR = 3.13 [CI 1.54–6.39], p = 0.002); prognosis was similar when patients were stratified by lesion size assessed via area (HR = 0.99 per cm2 [CI 0.98–1.01], p = 0.40) or maximal diameter (HR = 0.98 per cm [CI 0.91–1.06], p = 0.61). CTHR conferred similar mortality risk compared to cancer-matched controls without cardiac involvement (p = 0.64) whereas mortality associated with CNEO was slightly higher albeit non-significant (p = 0.12). Among a broad cancer cohort with cardiac masses, CNEO defined by LGE-CMR tissue characterization conferred markedly poorer prognosis than CTHR, whereas anatomic assessment via cine-CMR did not stratify mortality risk. Both CNEO and CTHR are associated with similar prognosis compared to CMASS - controls matched for cancer type and disease extent.