Prognostication of valvular aortic stenosis using tissue Doppler echocardiography: underappreciated importance of late diastolic mitral annular velocity

Kian-Keong Poh, Mark Yan-Yee Chan, Hong Yang, Quek-Wei Yong, Yiong-Huak Chan, Lieng H Ling
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 2008, 21 (5): 475-81

BACKGROUND: Intact left atrial booster pump function helps maintain cardiac compensation in patients with aortic valve stenosis (AS). Because late diastolic mitral annular (A') velocity reflects left atrial systolic function, we hypothesized that A' velocity correlates with plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level and clinical outcome in AS.

METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 53 consecutive patients (median age 74 years) with variable degrees of AS, in sinus rhythm, and left ventricular ejection fraction greater than 50%. Indices of valvular stenosis, left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, and mitral annular motion were correlated with plasma NT-proBNP and a composite clinical end point comprising cardiac death and symptom-driven aortic valve replacement.

RESULTS: Tissue Doppler echocardiographic parameters, including early diastolic (E') velocity and A' velocity and ratio of early diastolic transmitral (E) to E' velocity (E/E') at the annular septum correlated better with NT-proBNP levels than body surface area-indexed aortic valve area. Eighteen patients had the composite end point, which was univariately predicted by body surface area-indexed aortic valve area, NT-proBNP, and all tissue Doppler echocardiographic indices. This outcome was most strongly predicted by the combination of septal A' velocity and E/E' ratio in bivariate Cox modeling. Septal annular A' velocity less than 9.6 cm/s was associated with significantly reduced event-free survival (Kaplan Meier log rank = 27.3, P < .0001) and predicted the end point with a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 94%, 80%, and 85%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with AS and normal ejection fraction, annular tissue Doppler echocardiographic indices may better reflect the physiologic consequences of afterload burden on the left ventricle than body surface area-indexed aortic valve area. Lower A' velocity is a predictor of cardiac death and need for valve surgery, suggesting an important role for compensatory left atrial booster pump function.

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