The use of ImageJ software (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md
The use of ImageJ software (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md, USA) and an image intensity level 3 SD above the mean of remote myocardium was used to define LGE indicative of damaged myocardium as described previously and expressed as percentage of total LV mass [15].Genetic data analysisPatients were first categorised as presenting with either deletions, duplications, point mutations or other defects in the dystrophin gene. Thereafter, a subclassification ofFlorian et al. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2014, 16:81 3 ofthose patients having dystrophin gene deletions was performed based on previous data relating deletions in specific dystrophin gene domains with the presence and severity of skeletal muscle disease and cardiomyopathy as follows: (1) presence of deletions affecting the aminoterminal domain of dystrophin – known to be associated with DMD/severe skeletal BMD and early onset of cardiomyopathy, (2) presence of deletions affecting exons 45 to 49 preserving Hinge 3 (that encodes a protein sequence responsible for dystrophin flexibility and intrinsic folding) and (3) presence of deletions affecting exons 50 and/or 51 removing or disrupting Hinge 3 [7,16,17].Patient follow-up and definition of endpointsAfter PubMed ID: enrolment and baseline CMR, the patients were followed-up for the occurrence of death and adverse cardiac events until November 2013. Primary endpoints were defined as: (1) all cause death including cardiac death (and particularly GW610742 price sudden cardiac death and death from heart failure) and (2) cardiac transplantation. Secondary endpoints were defined as follows: (1) hospitalization for heart failure and/or (2) non-/sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) defined as five or more consecutive ventricular beats at a rate of greater than 100/min. In patients with more than one event, the time to the first event was taken into consideration. Follow-up was done by phone calls as well as by periodical (every six months to one year) ambulatory monitoring of potential arrhythmias during a five day period by means of an external event loop recorder (SpiderFlash-t, Sorin Group). This device records electrocardiographic tracings in two different leads during and up to 15min after arrhythmia detection (auto-triggered) and/or patient activation. Subsequently, all ECG recordings were assessed for presence of ventricular arrhythmias. In the case of an event, all explanatory medical records were obtained and reviewed to ensure an appropriate classification.Statistical analysisobserver (AF) and inter-observer (AY) variability for LGE extent was performed in 10 random LGE positive patients and evaluated using Bland-Altman. In order to find independent predictors for the occurrence of a secondary endpoint, a univariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed first. Second, the parameters with significant p-values were introduced into a Cox regression multivariable analysis. Additionally, a separate model including only three variables: age (the most important clinical variable), LV-EF and LGE characteristics as either (1) dichotomous presence or (2) extent as of LV mass or (3) pattern was tested in order to avoid the potential for overfitting. The independent predictors thus obtained were used to generate the cumulative event-free survival curves. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software for Windows (version 18, SPSS, Chicago Illinois, US). A p-value 0.

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