Reduced Left Ventricular Global Longitudinal Strain Predicts Prolonged Hospitalization: A Cohort Analysis of Patients Having Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery.

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Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is often preserved in patients with aortic stenosis and thus cannot distinguish between normal myocardial contractile function and subclinical dysfunction. Global longitudinal strain and strain rate (SR), which measure myocardial deformation, are robust indicators of myocardial function and can detect subtle myocardial dysfunction that is not apparent with conventional echocardiographic measures. Strain and SR may better predict postoperative outcomes than LVEF. The primary aim of our investigation was to assess the association between global longitudinal strain and serious postoperative outcomes in patients with aortic stenosis having aortic valve replacement. Secondarily, we also assessed the associations between global longitudinal SR and LVEF and the outcomes.


In this post hoc analysis of data from a randomized clinical trial (NCT01187329), we examined the association between measures of myocardial function and the following outcomes: (1) need for postoperative inotropic/vasopressor support; (2) prolonged hospitalization (>7 days); and (3) postoperative atrial fibrillation. Standardized transesophageal echocardiographic examinations were performed after anesthetic induction. Myocardial deformation was measured using speckle-tracking echocardiography. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess associations between measures of myocardial function and outcomes, adjusted for potential confounding factors. The predictive ability of global longitudinal strain, SR, and LVEF was assessed as area under receiver operating characteristics curves (AUCs).


Of 100 patients enrolled in the clinical trial, 86 patients with aortic stenosis had acceptable images for global longitudinal strain analysis. Primarily, worse intraoperative global longitudinal strain was associated with prolonged hospitalization (odds ratio [98.3% confidence interval], 1.22 [1.01-1.47] per 1% decrease [absolute value] in strain; P = .012), but not with other outcomes. Secondarily, worse global longitudinal SR was associated with prolonged hospitalization (odds ratio [99.7% confidence interval], 1.68 [1.01-2.79] per 0.1 second decrease [absolute value] in SR; P = .003), but not other outcomes. LVEF was not associated with any outcomes. Global longitudinal SR was the best predictor for prolonged hospitalization (AUC, 0.72), followed by global longitudinal strain (AUC, 0.67) and LVEF (AUC, 0.62).


Global longitudinal strain and SR are useful predictors of prolonged hospitalization in patients with aortic stenosis having an aortic valve replacement.

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