Small whole heart volume predicts cardiovascular events in patients with stable chest pain: insights from the PROMISE trial

B. Foldyna*, R. Zeleznik, P. Eslami, T. Mayrhofer, J.E. Scholtz, M. Ferencik, D.O. Bittner, N.M. Meyersohn, S.B. Puchner, H. Emami, P.A. Pellikka, H.J.W.L. Aerts, P.S. Douglas, M.T. Lu, U. Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives The size of the heart may predict major cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with stable chest pain. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of 3D whole heart volume (WHV) derived from non-contrast cardiac computed tomography (CT). Methods Among participants randomized to the CT arm of the Prospective Multicenter Imaging Study for Evaluation of Chest Pain (PROMISE), we used deep learning to extract WHV, defined as the volume of the pericardial sac. We compared the WHV across categories of cardiovascular risk factors and coronary artery disease (CAD) characteristics and determined the association of WHV with MACE (all-cause death, myocardial infarction, unstable angina; median follow-up: 26 months). Results In the 3798 included patients (60.5 +/- 8.2 years; 51.5% women), the WHV was 351.9 +/- 57.6 cm(3)/m(2). We found smaller WHV in no- or non-obstructive CAD, women, people with diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, and metabolic syndrome. Larger WHV was found in obstructive CAD, men, and increased atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk score (p < 0.05). In a time-to-event analysis, small WHV was associated with over 4.4-fold risk of MACE (HR (per one standard deviation) = 0.221; 95% CI: 0.068-0.721; p = 0.012) independent of ASCVD risk score and CT-derived CAD characteristics. In patients with non-obstructive CAD, but not in those with no- or obstructive CAD, WHV increased the discriminatory capacity of ASCVD and CT-derived CAD characteristics significantly. Conclusions Small WHV may represent a novel imaging marker of MACE in stable chest pain. In particular, WHV may improve risk stratification in patients with non-obstructive CAD, a cohort with an unmet need for better risk stratification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6200-6210
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number8
Early online date26 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • cardiac volume
  • coronary disease
  • heart failure
  • multidetector computed tomography
  • Heart failure
  • Cardiac volume
  • Coronary disease
  • Multidetector computed tomography


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