To determine whether dobutamine stress echocardiography can predict the improvement of left ventricular systolic function in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).Methods
Myocardial contractile reserve, as assessed by dobutamine stress echo-cardiography, was determined in 18 patients with DCM (mean (SD) age 53 (13) years, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 28 (10)%) and compared with changes in LVEF during a follow up period of 15 (8) months. The LVEF and regional left ventricular wall motion score (0, normal to 4, dyskinesis) of 12 segments in short axis and four chamber views were analysed before and after dobutamine infusion (5-20 [micro sign]g/kg/min).Results
During a follow up period of 15 (8) months, a significant improvement in LVEF (> 20%) was found in seven patients but not in the remaining 11. Baseline haemodynamic findings were similar in both groups. Patients with an improvement in follow up LVEF showed a greater change in wall motion score from baseline during dobutamine infusion than patients with no improvement (at rest, 1.7 (0.4) v 1.9 (0.2), NS; dobutamine 10 [micro sign]g/kg/min, 0.6 (0.4) v 1.2 (0.4), p < 0.05). The percentage change in LVEF during dobutamine infusion was also significantly greater in patients who showed improvement than in those who did not. The change in LVEF during the follow up period (follow up LVEF/baseline LVEF) correlated well with the change in LVEF during dobutamine stress (LVEF at rest/LVEF at dobutamine 10 [micro sign]g/kg/min; r = 0.74, p < 0.001).Conclusions
Changes in left ventricular systolic performance during low dose dobutamine stress echocardiography are a useful marker to predict the outcome of left ventricular systolic function in patients with DCM.