Objectives: Right ventricular (RV) failure is common after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) surgery and is associated with higher mortality. Measurement of longitudinal RV strain using speckle-tracking technology is a novel approach to quantify RV function. The authors hypothesized that depressed peak longitudinal RV strain measured by intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) examinations would be associated with adverse outcomes after LVAD surgery.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Tertiary academic medical center.
Participants: Following Institutional Review Board approval, the authors retrospectively identified adult patients who underwent implantation of non-pulsatile LVAD. Exclusion criteria included inadequate TEE images and device explantation within 6 months for heart transplantation.
Measurements and main results: The postoperative adverse event outcome was defined as a composite of one or more of death within 6 months, ≥14 days of inotropes, mechanical RV support, or device thrombosis. Intraoperative TEE images were analyzed for peak RV free wall longitudinal strain by two blinded investigators. Simple logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between adverse outcome and the mean of the strain measurements of the two raters. Agreement between the raters was assessed by intra-class correlation (0.62) and Pearson correlation coefficient (0.63). Of the 57 subjects, 21 (37%) had an adverse outcome. The logistic regression indicated no significant association between RV peak longitudinal strain and adverse events.
Conclusions: In this retrospective study of patients undergoing non-pulsatile LVAD implantation, peak longitudinal strain of the RV free wall was not associated with adverse outcomes within 6 months after surgery. Additional quantitative echocardiographic measures for intraoperative RV assessment should be explored.
Keywords: echocardiography; heart failure; left ventricular assist device; right ventricle; strain.
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