Objectives: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and variability of 3 semi-quantitative (SQt) methods for assessing right ventricular (RV) systolic function from cardiac MRI in patients with acquired heart disease: tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), RV fractional-shortening (RVFS) and RV fractional area change (RVFAC).
Methods: Sixty consecutive patients were enrolled. Reference RV ejection fraction (RVEF) was determined from short axis cine sequences. TAPSE, RVFS and RVFAC were measured on a 4-chamber cine sequence. All SQt analyses were performed twice by 3 observers with various degrees of training in cardiac MRI. Correlation with RVEF, intra- and inter-observer variability, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis were performed for each SQt method.
Results: Correlation between RVFAC and RVEF was good for all observers and did not depend on previous cardiac MRI experience (R range = 0.716-0.741). Conversely, RVFS (R range = 0.534-0.720) and TAPSE (R range = 0.482-0.646) correlated less with RVEF and depended on previous experience. Intra- and inter-observer variability was much lower for RVFAC than for RVFS and TAPSE. ROC analysis demonstrated that RVFAC <41% could predict a RVEF <45% with 90% sensitivity and 94% specificity.
Conclusions: RVFAC appears to be more accurate and reproducible than RVFS and TAPSE for SQt assessment of RV function by cardiac MRI.