The impact of a hyperdynamic left ventricle on right ventricular function measurements in preterm infants with a patent ductus arteriosus

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Background and aimsRight ventricular (RV) functional assessment in premature infants includes basal longitudinal strain (RV BLS), RV systolic tissue Doppler velocity (RV s′), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) and RV fractional area change (FAC). A hyperdynamic left ventricle (LV) may influence RV measures of displacement (TAPSE) and velocity (RV s′) but not measures of relative change of length (RV BLS) or area (FAC). We aimed to explore this hypothesis in preterm infants with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).MethodsWe measured LV function (ejection fraction (LV EF); left ventricular output) and RV function (RV BLS; RV s′; TAPSE; FAC) on days 1, 2 and 5–7 in infants <29 weeks. The cohort was divided based on PDA presence by days 5–7. LV and RV function measurements were compared between the groups using two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures.Results121 infants with a mean (SD) gestation and birth weight of 26.8 (1.4) weeks and 968 (250) g were enrolled. By days 5–7, the PDA remained open in 83 (69%), with evidence of hyperdynamic LV function. There was no difference in RV s’ (5.3 (0.9) vs 5.1 (1.0) cm/s, p=0.3) or TAPSE (6.2 (1.3) vs 6.1 (1.2) mm, p=0.7) between infants with and without a PDA, but infants in the PDA group had lower RV FAC (41 (8) vs 47 (10) %, p<0.01) and lower RV BLS (−24.2 (5.0) vs −26.2 (4.1) %, p=0.03).ConclusionsLV influence on RV functional parameters must be taken into account when interpreting of RV function using those techniques.

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