Right ventricular longitudinal strain correlates well with right ventricular stroke work index in patients with advanced heart failure referred for heart transplantation

Matteo Cameli, Matteo Lisi, Francesca Maria Righini, Charilaos Tsioulpas, Sonia Bernazzali, Massimo Maccherini, Guido Sani, Piercarlo Ballo, Maurizio Galderisi, Sergio Mondillo
Journal of Cardiac Failure 2012, 18 (3): 208-15

BACKGROUND: Right ventricular (RV) systolic function has a critical role in determining the clinical outcome and success of using left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) in patients with refractory heart failure. Tissue Doppler and M-mode measurements of tricuspid systolic motion (tricuspid S' and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion [TAPSE]) are the most currently used methods for the quantification of RV longitudinal function; RV deformation analysis by speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) has recently allowed the analysis of global RV longitudinal function. Using cardiac catheterization as the reference standard, this study aimed at exploring the correlation between RV longitudinal function by STE and RV stroke work index (RVSWI) in patients referred for cardiac transplantation.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Right-side heart catheterization and transthoracic echo Doppler were simultaneously performed in 41 patients referred for cardiac transplantation evaluation for advanced systolic heart failure. Thermodilution RV stroke volume and invasive pulmonary pressures were used to obtain RVSWI. RV longitudinal strain (RVLS) by STE was assessed averaging all segments in apical 4-chamber view (global RVLS) and by averaging RV free-wall segments (free-wall RVLS). Tricuspid S' and TAPSE were also calculated. No significant correlations were found for TAPSE or tricuspid S' with RVSWI (r = 0.14; r = 0.06; respectively). Close negative correlations between global RVLS and free-wall RVLS with the RVSWI were found (r = -0.75; r = -0.82; respectively; both P < .0001). Furthermore, free-wall RVLS demonstrated the highest diagnostic accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve 0.90) and good sensitivity and specificity of 92% and 86%, respectively, to predict depressed RVSWI using a cutoff value of less than -11.8%.

CONCLUSIONS: In a group of patients referred for heart transplantation, TAPSE and tricuspid S' did not correlate with invasively obtained RVSWI. RV longitudinal deformation analysis by STE correlated well with RVSWI, providing a better estimation of RV systolic performance.

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