Echocardiographic right ventricle longitudinal contraction indices cannot predict ejection fraction in post-operative Fallot children

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Abstract

Aims

To examine in a population of post-operative tetralogy of Fallot patients, the correlation between right ventricle (RV) ejection fractions (EF) computed from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and three echocardiographic indices of RV function: TAPSE, longitudinal strain and strain rate. Indeed, these patients present a pulmonary regurgitation which is responsible for progressive dilatation of the RV. An echocardiographic assessment of the RV function would be very useful in determining the timing of pulmonary revalvulation for Fallot patients. However, these indices are generally based on the ventricle contraction in the long axis direction which is impaired in this population and does not seem to correlate with the EF.

Methods and results

Thirty-five post-operative tetralogy of Fallot patients and 20 patients with normal RVs were included. In both groups, RVEF, assessed by MRI, was compared with the three echocardiographic indices. Longitudinal strain and strain rates were computed both on the free wall and on the whole RV. No correlation was found between the echocardiographic indices and the MRI EF in our Fallot population. The accuracy of those indices as a diagnostic test of an altered RV was low with Younden's indices varying from −0.18 to 0.5 and areas under the Receiver Operating Characterictic (ROC) curves equal to 0.54 for tricuspid annulus plane systolic excursion, 0.59–0.62 for strain and 0.57–0.63 for strain rate.

Conclusion

Three conventional echocardiographic indices based on RV longitudinal contraction failed to assess the EF in our population of post-operative tetralogy of Fallot patients.

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