BACKGROUND: The purpose of this work is to describe the objectives and design of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in the single center, prospective, population-based Hamburg City Health study (HCHS). The HCHS aims at improving risk stratification for coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure (HF).
METHODS: The HCHS will finally include 45,000 inhabitants of the city of Hamburg (Germany) between 45 and 74 years who undergo an extensive cardiovascular evaluation and collection of biomaterials. Risk-scores for CAD, AF and HF are used to create enriched subpopulations who are invited for CMR. A total number of approximately 12,362 subjects will undergo CMR and incident CAD, AF and HF will be assessed after 6 years follow-up. The standard CMR protocol includes cine-CMR, T1 and T2 mapping, aortic/mitral valve flow measurements, Late gadolinium enhancement, angiographies and measurements of aortic distensibility. A stress-perfusion scan is added in individuals at risk for CAD. The workflow of CMR data acquisition and analyses was evaluated in a pilot cohort of 200 unselected subjects.
RESULTS: The obtained CMR findings in the pilot cohort agree with current reference values and demonstrate the ability of the established workflow to accomplish the objectives of HCHS.
CONCLUSIONS: CMR in HCHS promises novel insights into major cardiovascular diseases, their subclinical precursors and the prognostic value of novel imaging biomarkers. The HCHS database will facilitate combined analyses of imaging, clinical and molecular data ("Radiomics").