Background: The contribution of central pulsatility to left ventricular (LV) dysfunction might be mediated by the haemodynamic loads of forward (Pf) and backward (Pb) pulse waves. We investigated the relation between echocardiographic indexes of LV function and pulsatile loads derived by wave separation analysis (WSA).
Methods: In 755 participants, we assessed LV dimensions, transmitral blood flow and mitral annular tissue velocities. We derived central pulse pressure (cPP) from radial tonometric recordings and calculated Pf, Pb and their ratio (reflection magnitude) using an automated, pressure-based WSA algorithm. Despite good quality recordings, WSA failed to derive Pf and Pb in 139 participants (18.4%), in particular in older women with unfavourable haemodynamics. Thus, our analysis included 616 participants (46.1% women; mean age, 49.2 years).
Results: Age and age explained most of the variance in cPP (36.9%), Pf (18.6%), Pb (41.5%) and reflection magnitude (36.7%; P < 0.0001) and altered the direct correlation between Pf and Pb (Pint < 0.0001). Haemodynamic loads were independently associated with sex, BMI, heart rate, mean arterial pressure, history of diabetes and use of antihypertensive drugs. In multivariable-adjusted analyses, transmitral velocities and E/e' ratio increased with higher cPP, Pf and Pb in men and women. We also observed an age-dependent association of LV radial strain with cPP, Pf and Pb.
Conclusion: The commercial WSA algorithm holds limited clinical utility given its low feasibility in older participants with unfavourable haemodynamics. LV function indexes were similarly associated with Pf and Pb, favouring the use of the composite cPP for prediction of LV dysfunction.