Objectives: To assess ventricular dysfunction and ventricular interaction after repair of Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF) employing echocardiography speckle-tracking and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR).
Background: Severe pulmonary regurgitation and right ventricular (RV) dysfunction are common after repair of ToF and may also affect the shape and function of the left ventricle (LV). Recent studies suggest that LV dysfunction may be of particular prognostic value.
Methods and results: Twenty-one consecutive adults with repaired ToF (15 male, mean age 38 ± 11 years, 7 with severe PR) underwent a comprehensive echocardiographic exam including speckle-tracking analysis, CMR and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Twenty-one subjects without relevant heart disease served as controls. Echocardiographically measured RV diameters correlated with RV volumes obtained from CMR (r=0.63; p=0.006). In addition, a close correlation was found between RV and LV function on CMR (r=0.74, p=0.002), speckle-tracking LV and RV peak longitudinal 2D strain (r=0.66, p=0.003) and mitral and tricuspid annular plain systolic excursion (r=0.71, p=0.0003). While LV ejection fraction was normal in the majority of patients and not different from controls, LV longitudinal strain was significantly reduced in ToF patients (-16.5 ± 3.3 vs. -20.5 ± 2.7%, p=0.0001).
Conclusion: Left and right ventricular function both by CMR and speckle-tracking is interrelated in adults with repaired ToF. Despite normal LV ejection fraction, 2D longitudinal strain is significantly reduced in ToF patients, suggesting subclinical LV myocardial damage. Considering the potential prognostic value of LV dysfunction in ToF, this measurement may gain importance and should be included in future outcome studies.
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