Relation of Alcohol Consumption to Left Ventricular Fibrosis Using Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Aleksandr Voskoboinik, Benedict T. Costello, Andre La Gerche, Sandeep Prabhu, Geoff Wong, Michael D. Flannery, Chrishan Nalliah, Hariharan Sugumar, Fabian Springer, Jonathan M. Kalman, Andrew J. Taylor, Peter M. Kistler

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Light-to-moderate regular alcohol consumption has been associated with reduced mortality, heart failure, and sudden death, with a well described “U-shaped” relationship. We sought to determine whether markers of diffuse ventricular fibrosis as assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) T 1 mapping differ between nondrinkers and regular drinkers. We prospectively recruited 165 participants to undergo 3T CMR ventricular T1 mapping which included 120 regular light-to-moderate drinkers (7 to 28 standard drinks per week for >12 months) and 45 age and gender-matched nondrinking controls (1 standard drink ∼12 g 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, p < 0.001; postcontrast T1 time 470 ± 47 vs 445 ± 43 ms, p = 0.01; extracellular volume 25.0 ± 2.7% vs 27.0 ± 2.8%, p = 0.003 despite similar LV size (p = 0.55) and mass compared with nondrinkers (p = 0.78). Quantity of alcohol intake and beverage type did not predict lower native T1 times. In conclusion, 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-465
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

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