Individuals born very premature have an increased cardiometabolic and heart failure risk. While the structural differences of the preterm heart are now well-described, metabolic insights into the physiologic mechanisms underpinning this risk are needed. Here, we used dynamic flu-orodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET-MRI) in young adults born term and preterm during normoxic (N = 28 preterm; 18 term) and hypoxic exposure (12% O2; N = 26 preterm; 17 term) to measure the myocardial metabolic rate of glucose (MMRglc) in young adults born term (N = 18) and preterm (N = 32), hypothesizing that young adults born preterm would have higher rates of MMRglc under normoxic conditions and a reduced ability to augment glucose metabolism under hypoxic conditions. MMRglc was calculated from the myocardial and blood pool time-activity curves by fitting the measured activities to the 3-compartment model of FDG kinetics. MMRglc was similar at rest between term and preterm subjects, and decreased during hypoxia exposure in both groups (p = 0.02 for MMRglc hypoxia effect). There were no differences observed between groups in the metabolic response to hypoxia, either globally (serum glucose and lactate measures) or within the myocardium. Thus, we did not find evidence of altered myocardial metabolism in the otherwise healthy preterm-born adult. However, whether subtle changes in myocardial metabolism may preceed or predict heart failure in this population remains to be determined.
- Cardiac metabolism
- Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Premature birth
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