Fatty foci in the myocardium in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex: common finding at CT

M.E.A.P.M. Adriaensen, C.M. Schaefer-Prokop, D.A.C. Duyndam, B.A. Zonnenberg and M. Prokop

Radiology 2009;253(2):359-363



To examine the morphologic characteristics of focal fatty foci in the myocardium of patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) at computed tomography (CT).Institutional review board approval was obtained, and patient informed consent was waived. Fifty-five patients with TSC (mean age, 37 years; range, 16-67 years; 22 male patients) who had CT results available that included at least the basal portions of the heart were included. Fifty-five age- and sex-matched control subjects without TSC were selected from a CT database. Images were reviewed for the presence of areas of fat attenuation in the depicted portions of the myocardium. Descriptive statistics and the McNemar test for case-control comparisons were used.CT results demonstrated foci of fat attenuation within the myocardium in 35 (64 of 55 patients with TSC. Foci were well circumscribed and focal and located in the interventricular septum, left ventricle wall, right ventricle wall, and papillary muscles. Size varied between 3 x 1 mm and 62 x 31 mm. Multiple lesions were seen in 19 patients. In the control group, only one (2 lesion with fat attenuation was found (P < .001). Its linear shape and subendocardial location in the left ventricular wall differed from the morphology of fatty foci seen in patients with TSC.Despite incomplete depiction of the heart with CT, the majority of patients with TSC demonstrated well-circumscribed foci of fat attenuation in the myocardium that were not present in age- and sex-matched control subjects. This suggests that such fatty foci may be another characteristic of TSC.