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Relation of alcohol consumption to left ventricular fibrosis

Alcohol pattern consumption differently affects the efficiency of macrophage reverse cholesterol transport in vivo Light-to-moderate regular alcohol consumption has been associated with reduced mortality, heart failure, and sudden death, with a well described “U-shaped” relationship. A study investigated whether markers of diffuse ventricular fibrosis, as assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) T1 mapping, differ between nondrinkers and regular drinkers.

165 participants were prospectively recruited to undergo 3T CMR ventricular T1 mapping. Of the participants, 120 were regular light-to-moderate drinkers (7 to 28 standard drinks per week for >12 months). There were 45 age and gender-matched nondrinking controls (1 standard drink - 12g alcohol).

Diffuse ventricular fibrosis was assessed using ShMOLLI T1 mapping sequences performed in mid-short axis. Native T1, postcontrast T1 times and extracellular volume were compared in the left ventricle between regular drinkers and lifelong nondrinkers.

In total 165 participants (mean age 59 ± 12 years, 70% male, 36% hypertension, mean LVEF 58 ± 11%) underwent CMR. Moderate alcohol intake (mean alcohol intake 16 ± 6 SDs/week) was associated with lower markers of diffuse ventricular fibrosis: native T1 time 1140 ± 47 vs 1173 ± 39 ms; postcontrast T1 time 470 ± 47 vs 445 ± 43 ms, ; extracellular volume 25.0 ± 2.7% vs 27.0 ± 2.8%, despite similar LV size and mass compared with nondrinkers. Quantity of alcohol intake and beverage type did not predict lower native T1 times.

The study authors conclude that, light-to-moderate or “social” alcohol consumption is associated with T1 changes on CMR suggestive of a reduction in diffuse ventricular fibrosis. These preliminary findings may provide some insights into the association between modest alcohol intake and reduction in sudden death and heart failure.

Source: Relation of Alcohol Consumption to Left Ventricular Fibrosis Using Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Voskoboinik A, Costello BT, La Gerche A, Prabhu S, Wong G, Flannery MD, Nalliah C, Sugumar H, Springer F, Kalman JM, Taylor AJ, Kistler PM. Am J Cardiol. 2018 Nov 6. pii: S0002-9149(18)32041-1. doi. org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.10.026

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