Evaluation of right ventricular strain in two separate cohorts with precapillary pulmonary hypertension


Evaluation for right ventricular (RV) dysfunction is an important part of risk assessment in care of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) as it is associated with morbidity and mortality. Echocardiography provides a widely available and acceptable method to assess RV function. RV global longitudinal strain (RVGLS), a measure of longitudinal shortening of RV deep muscle fibers obtained by two-dimensional echocardiography, was previously shown to predict short-term mortality in patients with PH. The purpose of the current study was to assess the performance of RVGLS in predicting 1-year outcomes in PH. We retrospectively identified 83 subjects with precapillary PH and then enrolled 50 consecutive prevalent pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) subjects into a prospective validation cohort. Death as well as combined morbidity and mortality events at 1 year were assessed as outcomes. In the retrospective cohort, 84% of patients had PAH and the overall 1-year mortality rate was 16%. Less negative RVGLS was marginally better than tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) as a predictor for death. However, in the prospective cohort, 1-year mortality was only 2%, and RVGLS was not predictive of death or a combined morbidity and mortality outcome. This study supports that RV strain and TAPSE have similar 1-year outcome predictions but highlights that low TAPSE or less negative RV strain measures are often false-positive in a cohort with low baseline mortality risk. While RV failure is considered the final common pathway for disease progression in PAH, echocardiographic measures of RV function may be less informative of risk in serial follow-up of treated PAH patients.

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Pulmonary Circulation Vol 13: No 1 cover image

January 2023

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 13: No 1

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