Usefulness of Systolic Time Intervals in the Identification of Abnormal Ventriculo-Arterial Coupling in Stable Heart Failure Patients

Eur J Heart Fail. 2008 Dec;10(12):1192-200. doi: 10.1016/j.ejheart.2008.09.003. Epub 2008 Nov 11.


Background: The ratio of effective arterial elastance (Ea) to ventricular end-systolic elastance (Ees) indicates the status of ventriculo-arterial coupling.

Aims: We investigated if systolic time intervals (pre-ejection period, PEP; ejection time, ET; and their ratio, PEP/ET) can be used to identify heart failure patients with abnormal ventriculo-arterial coupling.

Methods: Age and sex-matched study subjects included 54 apparently healthy subjects with normal left ventricular (LV) function, and stable patients with LV diastolic (n=54) and systolic dysfunction (n=54). Ees and Ea were estimated non-invasively by echocardiography, and abnormal ventriculo-arterial coupling was defined as Ea/Ees>1.2. PEP, ET, and PEP/ET were measured automatically using electrocardiography, phonocardiography, and brachial pulse volume recording.

Results: Ea/Ees>1.2 was present in 48.1% of subjects with systolic dysfunction. The PEP/ET was significantly associated with most parameters of LV structure and function, and Ea/Ees (r=0.67, p<0.001). Using PEP/ET> or =0.423 as cut point, the sensitivity and specificity to identify patients with Ea/Ees>1.2 were 85.7% and 84.3%, respectively for the whole population, and 84.6% and 78.6%, for patients with systolic dysfunction.

Conclusion: Abnormal ventriculo-arterial coupling was present in almost half of stable patients with systolic dysfunction. PEP/ET was useful in identifying such patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Vessels / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure, Systolic / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure, Systolic / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stroke Volume
  • Systole
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography
  • Ventricular Function, Left