To assess if the lack of development of right ventricular (RV) contractile reserve during exercise echocardiography (ex-echo) might be a predictor of postoperative major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) in patients with primary mitral regurgitation (pMR) undergoing early surgery.Methods
Comprehensive resting and ex-echo were performed in 142 asymptomatic patients (58±21 years, 68% men, New York Heart Association functional class ≤2) with isolated severe pMR and preserved left ventricular (LV) function (LV ejection >60%, LV end-systolic diameter <45 mm) undergoing mitral valve replacement (n=20) or repair. Postoperative MACEs were defined as occurrence of atrial fibrillation, stroke, cardiac-related hospitalisation or death. RV function was evaluated at rest in every patient during ex-echo by measuring their tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) value.Results
After median follow-up of 30 months (IQR 16–60 months), MACEs occurred in 48 (34%) patients. Using Bayesian model averaging, among all the characteristics including the type of surgery, exercise TAPSE (ex-TAPSE) emerged as the most likely predictor of prognosis (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.96). Other probable predictors were exercise fractional area change (HR 0.02, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.80), male gender (HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.75) and RV basal diameter (HR 1.06, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.14). In the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, an ex-TAPSE value of <26 mm (sensitivity 73% (95% CI 61 to 84) and specificity of 86% (95% CI 77% to 93%)) defined RV dysfunction. Event-free survival at 5 years was significantly lower in the patient group that exhibited no development of RV contractile reserve during exercise: 43.9% (95% CI 31.3 to 61.4) vs 75.8% (95% CI 64.8 to 88.7).Conclusion
Lack of development of exercise-induced RV contractile reserve is a prognostic predictor in patients with severe pMR undergoing early mitral valve surgery.