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Age- and sex-dependent changes in sympathetic activity of the left ventricular apex assessed by 18F-DOPA PET imaging


Abstract

BACKGROUND Sexual dimorphism in cardiac sympathetic outflow has recently gained attention in the context of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Previous studies suggest that there are sex- and age-dependent differences in peripheral autonomic control, however, data on cardiac-specific sympathetic activation in aged women and men are lacking.
METHODS AND RESULTS Regional quantitative analysis of cardiac fluorine-18 (18F)- Dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) uptake was retrospectively performed in 133 patients (69 females, mean age 52.4±17.7 years) referred for assessment of neuroendocrine tumours (NET) by Positron-Emission-Tomography. Cardiac 18F-DOPA uptake was significantly higher in women as compared to men (1.33±0.21 vs. 1.18±0.24, p<0.001). This sex-difference was most pronounced in the apical region of the left ventricle (LV, 1.30±0.24 in women vs. 1.13±0.25 in men, p<0.001) and in individuals >55 years of age (1.39±0.25 in women vs. 1.09±0.24 in men, p<0.001). Women showed a prominent increase in myocardial 18F-DOPA uptake with age with the strongest increase seen in the LV apical region (r = 0.34, p = 0.004). Accordingly, sex and age were selected as significant predictors of LV apical 18F-DOPA uptake in a stepwise linear regression model. No age-dependent changes of cardiac 18F-DOPA uptake were observed in men or in the right ventricular region.
CONCLUSION Our study suggests that aging is related to sex-specific changes in regional cardiac sympathetic activity. Future studies will have to assess whether the increase in LV apical 18F-DOPA uptake with age in women is of pathogenic relevance for the higher susceptibility of postmenopausal women to conditions associated with increased sympathetic activity.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Sexual dimorphism in cardiac sympathetic outflow has recently gained attention in the context of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Previous studies suggest that there are sex- and age-dependent differences in peripheral autonomic control, however, data on cardiac-specific sympathetic activation in aged women and men are lacking.
METHODS AND RESULTS Regional quantitative analysis of cardiac fluorine-18 (18F)- Dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) uptake was retrospectively performed in 133 patients (69 females, mean age 52.4±17.7 years) referred for assessment of neuroendocrine tumours (NET) by Positron-Emission-Tomography. Cardiac 18F-DOPA uptake was significantly higher in women as compared to men (1.33±0.21 vs. 1.18±0.24, p<0.001). This sex-difference was most pronounced in the apical region of the left ventricle (LV, 1.30±0.24 in women vs. 1.13±0.25 in men, p<0.001) and in individuals >55 years of age (1.39±0.25 in women vs. 1.09±0.24 in men, p<0.001). Women showed a prominent increase in myocardial 18F-DOPA uptake with age with the strongest increase seen in the LV apical region (r = 0.34, p = 0.004). Accordingly, sex and age were selected as significant predictors of LV apical 18F-DOPA uptake in a stepwise linear regression model. No age-dependent changes of cardiac 18F-DOPA uptake were observed in men or in the right ventricular region.
CONCLUSION Our study suggests that aging is related to sex-specific changes in regional cardiac sympathetic activity. Future studies will have to assess whether the increase in LV apical 18F-DOPA uptake with age in women is of pathogenic relevance for the higher susceptibility of postmenopausal women to conditions associated with increased sympathetic activity.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Nuclear Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Molecular Cardiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:04 Dec 2018 14:19
Last Modified:13 Mar 2019 10:57
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202302
PubMed ID:30106984

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