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Sex-dependent association between inflammation, neural stress responses, and impaired myocardial function


Fiechter, Michael; Haider, Ahmed; Bengs, Susan; Marędziak, Monika; Burger, Irene A; Roggo, Andrea; Portmann, Angela; Schade, Katharina; Warnock, Geoffrey I; Treyer, Valerie; Messerli, Michael; Fuchs, Tobias A; Pazhenkottil, Aju P; Buechel, Ronny R; Kaufmann, Philipp A; Gebhard, Catherine (2020). Sex-dependent association between inflammation, neural stress responses, and impaired myocardial function. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 47(8):2010-2015.

Abstract

PURPOSE

Evidence to date has failed to reveal unique female determinants of cardiovascular disease. However, a strong association was recently observed between increased metabolic activity in the amygdala, a neural centre involved in the processing of emotions, and impaired myocardial function in women, but not in men. Given the stronger immune responses in females, we sought to retrospectively investigate the interaction between inflammation, perceived stress, and myocardial injury.

METHODS

Overall, 294 patients (mean age 66.9 ± 10.0 years, 28.6% women) underwent both, $^{99m}$Tc-tetrofosmin single-photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging and $^{18}$F-fluorodeoxyglucose ($^{18}$F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography for the assessment of cardiac function, bone marrow metabolism (surrogate marker of inflammation), and resting amygdalar activity.

RESULTS

A positive association was found between amygdalar metabolism and $^{18}$F-FDG bone marrow uptake in women (r = 0.238, p = 0.029), but not in men (r = 0.060, p = 0.385). Linear regression models selected both, abnormal left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and abnormal myocardial perfusion, as significant indicators of an increased amygdalar activity in women (B-coefficient LVEF, - 0.096; p = 0.021; abnormal myocardial perfusion, 3.227; p = 0.043), but not in men (bone marrow p = 0.076; abnormal myocardial perfusion p = 0.420). Accordingly, an interaction term consisting of sex and LVEF/abnormal myocardial perfusion was significant (p = 0.043 and p = 0.015, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Upregulated amygdalar metabolism is associated with an enhanced inflammatory state in female patients with impaired cardiac function. Given that enhanced activity of the limbic system is associated with worse cardiovascular outcomes, our study suggests that a focus on inflammatory markers and indicators of distress might help to tailor cardiovascular risk assessment and therapy towards the female cardiovascular phenotype.

Abstract

PURPOSE

Evidence to date has failed to reveal unique female determinants of cardiovascular disease. However, a strong association was recently observed between increased metabolic activity in the amygdala, a neural centre involved in the processing of emotions, and impaired myocardial function in women, but not in men. Given the stronger immune responses in females, we sought to retrospectively investigate the interaction between inflammation, perceived stress, and myocardial injury.

METHODS

Overall, 294 patients (mean age 66.9 ± 10.0 years, 28.6% women) underwent both, $^{99m}$Tc-tetrofosmin single-photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging and $^{18}$F-fluorodeoxyglucose ($^{18}$F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography for the assessment of cardiac function, bone marrow metabolism (surrogate marker of inflammation), and resting amygdalar activity.

RESULTS

A positive association was found between amygdalar metabolism and $^{18}$F-FDG bone marrow uptake in women (r = 0.238, p = 0.029), but not in men (r = 0.060, p = 0.385). Linear regression models selected both, abnormal left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and abnormal myocardial perfusion, as significant indicators of an increased amygdalar activity in women (B-coefficient LVEF, - 0.096; p = 0.021; abnormal myocardial perfusion, 3.227; p = 0.043), but not in men (bone marrow p = 0.076; abnormal myocardial perfusion p = 0.420). Accordingly, an interaction term consisting of sex and LVEF/abnormal myocardial perfusion was significant (p = 0.043 and p = 0.015, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Upregulated amygdalar metabolism is associated with an enhanced inflammatory state in female patients with impaired cardiac function. Given that enhanced activity of the limbic system is associated with worse cardiovascular outcomes, our study suggests that a focus on inflammatory markers and indicators of distress might help to tailor cardiovascular risk assessment and therapy towards the female cardiovascular phenotype.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Klinik für Konsiliarpsychiatrie und Psychosomatik
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Nuclear Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging
Language:English
Date:1 July 2020
Deposited On:07 Feb 2020 13:25
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 13:07
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1619-7070
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00259-019-04537-8
PubMed ID:31701187

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