Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heart disease in cats. This condition is associated with heart failure, sudden death, and stroke. At this time, it is very difficult to predict which cats will have major adverse events. Diagnosis for HCM is accomplished with cardiac ultrasound; however, it alone cannot predict outcome or assess muscle composition. A biopsy of part of the heart wall is required to evaluate this composition. In humans with HCM, the amount of fibrosis of the heart based on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is directly correlated with worse outcomes and has important prognostic implications. CMR is increasingly available in veterinary medicine but these new advances have not been evaluated in cats with HCM. It is critically important that CMR be investigated as an effective option for evaluating HCM in cats.
MRI may be useful in detecting diffuse or focal fibrosis in cats with HCM. In humans with HCM, increased fibrosis and myocardial scarring is directly associated with worse outcomes. This study will serve as the foundation for determining the prognostic importance of fibrosis in cats with HCM and may help guide therapeutic end points in the future.