Right Ventricular Ejection Fraction Is Incremental to Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction for the Prediction of Future Arrhythmic Events in Patients With Systolic Dysfunction

Yoko Mikami, Umjeet Jolly, Bobak Heydari, Mingkai Peng, Fahad Almehmadi, Mohammed Zahrani, Mahmoud Bokhari, John Stirrat, Carmen P Lydell, Andrew G Howarth, Raymond Yee, James A White
Circulation. Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 2017, 10 (1)

BACKGROUND: Left ventricular ejection fraction remains the primary risk stratification tool used in the selection of patients for implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy. However, this solitary marker fails to identify a substantial portion of patients experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. In this study, we examined the incremental value of considering right ventricular ejection fraction for the prediction of future arrhythmic events in patients with systolic dysfunction using the gold standard of cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Three hundred fourteen consecutive patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy or nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy undergoing cardiovascular magnetic resonance were followed for the primary outcome of sudden cardiac arrest or appropriate implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy. Blinded quantification of left ventricular and right ventricular (RV) volumes was performed from standard cine imaging. Quantification of fibrosis from late gadolinium enhancement imaging was incrementally performed. RV dysfunction was defined as right ventricular ejection fraction ≤45%. Among all patients (164 ischemic cardiomyopathy, 150 nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy), the mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 32±12% (range, 6-54%) with mean right ventricular ejection fraction of 48±15% (range, 7-78%). At a median of 773 days, 49 patients (15.6%) experienced the primary outcome (9 sudden cardiac arrest, 40 appropriate implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapies). RV dysfunction was independently predictive of the primary outcome (hazard ratio=2.98; P=0.002). Among those with a left ventricular ejection fraction >35% (N=121; mean left ventricular ejection fraction, 45±6%), RV dysfunction provided an adjusted hazard ratio of 4.2 (P=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: RV dysfunction is a strong, independent predictor of arrhythmic events. Among patients with mild to moderate LV dysfunction, a cohort greatly contributing to global sudden cardiac arrest burden, this marker provides robust discrimination of high- versus low-risk subjects.

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