The non-invasive estimation of left ventricular filling pressures (LVFPs) represents a main goal in the clinical setting. Current recommendations encourage the use of pulsed-wave Tissue Doppler for calculating the ratio between the preload-dependent transmitral E velocity and the average of septal and lateral early diastolic velocities (e′) of the mitral annulus. Despite its wide use, real utility of the E/e′ ratio has been recently challenged in patients with either very advanced heart failure or preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction. However, only few studies performed the invasive and non-invasive estimation of LVFP simultaneously. The EURO-FILLING Study will validate the E/e′ ratio (and additional non-invasive estimates) against simultaneously measured LVFP obtained by left heart catheterization in a multicentre study involving reference European echo laboratories collecting a wide population sample size of cardiac patients with and without heart failure.Methods and results
The EURO-FILLING study is a large, prospective observational study in which simultaneous assessment of invasive and non-invasive measurements of LVFP will be acquired in eight reference European centres. Centralized reading of the collected parameters will be performed in a core laboratory. Not only standardized echo Doppler measurements but also novel echo parameters such as LV global longitudinal strain and global atrial strain (obtainable by two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography) will be tested for predicting invasive measurements of LVFP.Conclusions
The EURO-FILLING study is expected to provide important information on non-invasive assessment of LVFP and to contribute to the standardization of this assessment in clinical practice.