Background: The prognostic importance of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction in heart failure (HF) has been suggested in patients with severe systolic heart failure. Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) is a simple echocardiographic measure of RV ejection fraction, but may be affected by co-existing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Aims: To examine the prognostic information from TAPSE adjusted for the potential confounding effects of co-existing cardiovascular and COPD in a large series of patients admitted for new onset or worsening HF.
Methods and results: Eight hundred and seventeen patients screened for participation in a large clinical trial by trans-thoracic echocardiography, including measurement of TAPSE, were followed for a median of 4.1 years (maximum 5.5 years). Decreased TAPSE as well as presence of COPD were independently associated with adverse short- and long-term survival, hazard ratio was 0.74 (p=0.004) for every doubling of TAPSE; and 2.4 (p<0.0001) for the presence of COPD.
Conclusion: Decreased RV systolic function as estimated by TAPSE is associated with increased mortality in patients admitted for HF, and is independent of other risk factors in HF including left ventricular function. The co-existence of COPD is also associated with an adverse prognosis independent of the RV systolic function.