Objectives: We sought to characterize stress-induced left ventricular systolic dysfunction in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
Background: Myocardial ischemia and diastolic dysfunction occur in patients with HCM. We hypothesized that, in the setting of transient myocardial ischemia, left ventricular systolic dysfunction occurs during exercise and dobutamine stress.
Methods: We studied 39 patients with HCM but without obstructive symptoms at rest or coronary artery disease. A continuous ventricular function monitor equipped with cadmium telluride detectors (VEST) was used to evaluate left ventricular function during supine bicycle ergometer exercise. Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) was also performed. The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and regional wall motion were determined from echocardiographic images.
Results: Changes in the LVEF correlated between exercise and dobutamine stress (r = 0.643, p < 0.0001). The LVEF decreased more than 5% at peak exercise in 17 of patients (group II), while the other patients had normal responses (group I). New regional wall motion abnormalities during dobutamine infusion were detected in 18 of 110 (16.4%) segments in group I and 42 of 85 (49.4%) segments in group II. Decreased or unchanged regional wall motion occurred more frequently in hypertrophied segments than in nonhypertrophied segments (p < 0.0001). There were significant inverse correlations between the LVEF responses during both stresses and the number of abnormal segments noted during dobutamine stress in all patients (VEST: p < 0.005; DSE: p < 0.0005). Signs of left ventricular obstruction were observed in 11 of 39 patients during DSE. However, there was no significant correlation between the LVEF response and the dobutamine-induced left ventricular pressure gradient.
Conclusions: Exercise-induced systolic dysfunction occurred in 50% of patients with HCM. In these patients, regional wall motion abnormalities were present in hypertrophied segments.