Objective To investigate the shape and function of right ventricles in patients who received heart transplantation (HT) using single-beat real-time three-dimensional echocardiography (sRT-3DE).
Methods 60 healthy volunteers (40 male, mean age (43.69±14.81 years)) and 31 HT patients [27 male, mean age (40.10±14.67 years)] were enrolled consecutively as Normal controls and the HT group, respectively. All the participants received routine echocardiography as well as sRt-3DE by SIEMENS SC2000 to get parameters concerning morphology and systolic function of the right ventricle. All the HT patients received endomyocardial biopsy within 3 months before or after the echo exams and the HT group was further divided into the rejection group (HTr) and the non-rejection group (HTn) according to the endomyocardial biopsy results as well as the long term group (HTl) and the short term group (HTs) based on the post-operation length (cut point: 1 year), respectively. HTn was also divided into a long term group (HTnl) and a short term group (HTns) to rule out the influence of rejection on post-operation length.
Results 1. Right ventricular stroke volume and right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) were significantly different among the groups and the difference values progressively decreased. (Right ventricular stroke volume: Con vs HTn vs HTr was 56.18±23.72 vs 36.08±10.94 vs 26.22±9.84 (p<0.0001; RVEF: Con vs HTn vs HTr was 62.09±7.18 vs 51.04±7.58 vs 35.86±9.86, p<0.00001). 2. When taking the influence of rejection into consideration, none but RVEF proved to be a stable and sensitive indicator.
Conclusions sRt-3DE can quickly assess shape and systolic function of right ventricle. RVEF was the most stable and sensitive among all the RV-related and LV-related indicators and is a promising indicator in the clinic follow-up of HT patients.