Aims: The importance of improvement in the ejection fraction to the prognosis of revascularized patients with ischaemic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is uncertain.
Methods and results: Eighty-seven patients with ischaemic LV dysfunction (mean ejection fraction 29 ± 8% by biplane Simpson's) had dobutamine echocardiography before revascularization (coronary bypass graft surgery-81, percutaneous intervention-6). Follow-up echocardiograms were performed a mean of 4.8 ± 6.2 months after revascularization. An 8% increase in the ejection fraction was considered significant (two times the inter-observer difference of 3.7%). Patients were followed for cardiac death. During a mean follow-up of 5.2 ± 3.9 years, there were 20 (23%) cardiac deaths. Class 3/4 heart failure, increasing low-dose wall motion score, increasing % non-viable myocardium, and digoxin use in follow-up were univariate predictors of death. Beta-blocker use, ejection fraction improvement, angina, aspirin use, and increasing fractional shortening were univariate predictors of survival. Ejection fraction improvement [P= 0.02, hazard ratio (HR) = 0.26], digoxin use in follow-up (P= 0.006, HR = 5.85), and low-dose wall motion score (P= 0.017, HR = 4.78) were independent predictors of outcome. In step-wise analysis, low-dose wall motion score added incremental prognostic value to ejection fraction improvement (P= 0.003), and digoxin use in follow-up (P= 0.003) added incremental value to a low-dose score and ejection fraction improvement.
Conclusion: Ejection fraction improvement is an independent predictor of long-term outcome in revascularized patients but viability (low-dose wall motion score) and digoxin use in follow-up are also independent predictors and add incremental prognostic value to ejection fraction improvement.