The dynamic assessment of right-ventricular function and its relation to exercise capacity in heart failure

Pawel Rubis, Piotr Podolec, Grzegorz Kopec, Maria Olszowska, Wieslawa Tracz
European Journal of Heart Failure 2010, 12 (3): 260-7

AIMS: To evaluate right-ventricular (RV) function during stress echocardiography (SE) and to assess its relationship with exercise capacity in heart failure (HF) patients.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We included 88 patients aged 60.9 +/- 11.2 years with a mean LVEF of 27.2 +/- 9.5%. The following RV parameters were measured at baseline and peak exercise during semi-supine SE: velocity (IVV) and acceleration during isovolumic contraction (IVA), S', E', A', and ratio of early diastolic tricuspid velocity to E' (E/E') and longitudinal strain and strain rate. Patients were stratified into two groups according to their VO(2peak) values: group 1 (n = 35) with VO(2peak) <14 mL/kg/min and group 2 (n = 53) with VO(2peak) >or=14 mL/kg/min. At rest, all analysed variables were similar in the two groups, but during stress IVV, S', and E' were significantly higher and the E/E' ratio significantly lower in group 2. In broad terms, parameters measured at stress correlated much better with VO(2peak) than parameters assessed at baseline. However, results of multivariable analysis determined that the independent predictors of VO(2peak) were solely the left-ventricular (LV) parameters: E/E' and S'.

CONCLUSIONS: Right-ventricular function (whether at rest or during stress tests) was not significantly associated with exercise capacity in our patients with HF. In contrast, systolic and, to a greater extent, diastolic LV parameters during the stress tests emerged as the most important indicators linked to exercise capacity in HF.

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