Right Ventricular Function Is a Determinant of Long-Term Survival after Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

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Abstract

Background:

Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction is a marker of poor prognosis in patients with heart failure. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of RV function on the long-term outcomes of patients undergoing cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Methods:

A total of 120 consecutive patients treated with CRT according to guideline criteria were followed over 5 years. Comprehensive echocardiographic analyses of RV function and radial and longitudinal mechanical left ventricular dyssynchrony were performed at baseline and 6 months after implantation. RV function was evaluated by two-dimensional longitudinal strain of the free wall, fractional area change, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, and tricuspid annular systolic velocity. Long-term follow-up events were defined as all-cause mortality, heart transplantation, or assist device implantation.

Results:

Long-term events occurred in 38 patients. Among the studied variables for RV function, RV strain < 18% had the highest sensitivity (79%) and specificity (84%) to predict a poor outcome after CRT (area under curve, 0.821; P < .0001). When adjusted for confounding baseline variables of ischemic etiology, mechanical dyssynchrony, left ventricular end-systolic volume, mitral regurgitation, and medical therapy, RV dysfunction remained independently associated with outcomes, indicating a 5.7-fold increased risk for hard events (P < .0001).

Conclusions:

Preserved RV function as assessed by speckle-tracking strain imaging appears to be an independent predictor of long-term event-free survival after CRT.

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