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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present study was to measure absolute concentrations of phosphocreatine (PCr) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in normal, hypertrophied, and failing human heart. BACKGROUND: Conflicting evidence exists on the extent of changes of high-energy phosphate metabolites in hypertrophied and failing human heart. Previous reports using phosphorus-31 magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((31)P-MRS) have quantified metabolites in relative terms only. However, this analysis cannot detect simultaneous reductions. METHODS: Four groups of subjects (n = 10 each), were studied: volunteers and patients with hypertensive heart disease (HHD), aortic stenosis, and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Left ventricular (LV) function and mass were measured by cine magnetic resonance imaging. Absolute and relative concentrations of PCr and ATP were determined by (31)P-MRS with spatial localization with optimum point spread function. RESULTS: Left ventricular ejection fraction remained normal in HHD and aortic stenosis, but was severely reduced to 18% in DCM; LV mass was increased by 55%, 79%, and 68% respectively. In volunteers, PCr and ATP concentrations were 8.82 +/- 1.30 mmol/kg wet weight and 5.69 +/- 1.02 mmol/kg wet weight, and the PCr/ATP ratio was 1.59 +/- 0.33. High-energy phosphate levels were unaltered in HHD. In aortic stenosis, PCr was decreased by 28%, whereas ATP remained constant. In DCM, PCr was reduced by 51%, ATP by 35%, and reduction of the PCr/ATP ratio by 25% was of borderline significance (p = 0.06). Significant correlations were observed among energetic and functional variables, with the closest relations for PCr. CONCLUSIONS: In human heart failure due to DCM, both PCr and ATP are significantly reduced. Ratios of PCr to ATP underestimate changes of high-energy phosphate levels.


Journal article


J Am Coll Cardiol

Publication Date





1267 - 1274


Adenosine Triphosphate, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aortic Valve Stenosis, Bias, Cardiomyopathy, Dilated, Case-Control Studies, Energy Metabolism, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardium, Phosphocreatine, Phosphorus Isotopes, Stroke Volume, Ventricular Function, Left