Clinical implications of electrocardiographic left ventricular strain and hypertrophy in asymptomatic patients with aortic stenosis: the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis study

Anders M Greve, Kurt Boman, Christa Gohlke-Baerwolf, Y Antero Kesäniemi, Christoph Nienaber, Simon Ray, Kenneth Egstrup, Anne B Rossebø, Richard B Devereux, Lars Køber, Ronnie Willenheimer, Kristian Wachtell
Circulation 2012 January 17, 125 (2): 346-53

BACKGROUND: The prognostic impact of ECG left ventricular strain and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in asymptomatic aortic stenosis is not well described.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Data were obtained in asymptomatic patients randomized to simvastatin/ezetimibe combination versus placebo in the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) study. Primary end point was the first of myocardial infarction, nonhemorrhagic stroke, heart failure, aortic valve replacement, or cardiovascular death. The predictive value of ECG left ventricular strain (defined as T-wave inversion in leads V(4) through V(6)) and LVH, assessed by Sokolow-Lyon voltage criteria (R(V5-6)+S(V1) ≥35 mV) and Cornell voltage-duration criteria {[RaVL+S(V3)+(6 mV in women)]×QRS duration ≥2440 mV · ms}, was evaluated by adjustment for other prognostic covariates. A total of 1533 patients were followed for 4.3±0.8 years (6592 patient-years of follow-up), and 627 cardiovascular events occurred. ECG strain was present in 340 patients (23.6%), with LVH by Sokolow-Lyon voltage in 260 (17.1%) and by Cornell voltage-duration product in 220 (14.6%). In multivariable analyses, ECG left ventricular strain was associated with 3.1-fold higher risk of in-study myocardial infarction (95% confidence interval, 1.4-6.8; P=0.004). Similarly, ECG LVH by both criteria predicted, compared with no ECG LVH, 5.8-fold higher risk of heart failure (95% confidence interval, 2.0-16.8), 2.0-fold higher risk of aortic valve replacement (95% confidence interval, 1.3-3.1; both P=0.001), and 2.5-fold higher risk of a combined end point of myocardial infarction, heart failure, or cardiovascular death (95% confidence interval, 1.3-4.9; P=0.008).

CONCLUSIONS: ECG left ventricular strain and LVH were independently predictive of poor prognosis in patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: Unique identifier: NCT00092677.

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