Objectives To investigate the value of tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) measurements of right ventricular (RV) systolic and diastolic function as a predictor of long term cardiovascular outcomes in patients with left ventricular (LV) systolic heart failure.
Background In patients with LV systolic heart failure, RV function has been shown to be an important predictor of outcome. TDI is probably a clinically useful method for assessing RV function. The studies published so far have had a rather short follow-up period and have excluded patients with atrial fibrillation.
Methods 156 patients admitted to the cardiology department due to decompensated heart failure were included in this observational cohort study. 19% had atrial fibrillation. An echocardiographic examination was performed at entry to the study. The patients were then followed for a mean of 829 days. The primary endpoint was cardiovascular mortality or hospitalisation for decompensated heart failure.
Results 43 patients (28%) died from cardiovascular causes and 55 patients (35%) patients were hospitalised. 80 patients (51%) reached the study endpoint. Only age and a combined systolic and diastolic TDI parameter (s'r + e'r < 18.5 cm/s) of the right ventricle were independent predictors of cardiovascular outcome (HR 1.99, p=0.007).
Conclusion A combined measure of RV systolic and diastolic function, using TDI, can be used as an independent predictor of outcome in patients with LV systolic heart failure.
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