Residual native left ventricular function optimization using quantitative 3D echocardiographic assessment of rotational mechanics in patients with left ventricular assist devices

Echocardiography. 2018 Oct;35(10):1606-1615. doi: 10.1111/echo.14101. Epub 2018 Jul 25.


Preservation of native left ventricular (LV) function in patients supported with LV assist device (LVAD) may be beneficial to attain optimal hemodynamics and enhance potential recovery. Currently, LVAD speed optimization is based on hemodynamic parameters, without considering residual native LV function. We hypothesized that alternatively, LV rotational mechanics can be quantified by 3D echocardiography (3DE), and may help preserve native LV function while optimizing LVAD speed. The goal of this study was to test the feasibility of quantifying the effects of LVAD implantation on LV rotational mechanics and to determine whether conventional speed optimization maximally preserves native LV function. We studied 55 patients with LVADs, who underwent 3DE imaging and quantitative analysis of LV twist. Thirty patients were studied before and after LVAD implantation. The remaining 25 patients were studied during hemodynamic ramp studies. The pump speed at which LV twist was maximal was compared with the hemodynamics-based optimal speed. LV twist decreased following LVAD implantation from 4.2 ± 2.7 to 2.3 ± 1.9° (P < 0.01), reflecting the constricting effects on native function. With lower pump speeds, no significant changes were noted in LV twist, which peaked at a higher speed. In 11/25 (44%) patients, the conventional hemodynamic/2DE methodology and 3DE assessment of maximal residual function did not indicate the same optimal conditions, suggesting that a higher pump speed would have better preserved native function. In conclusion, quantitative 3DE analysis of LV rotational mechanics provides information, which together with hemodynamics may help select optimal pump speed, while maximally preserving native LV function.

Keywords: heart failure; left ventricular assist device; left ventricular function; pump speed optimization; three-dimensional echocardiography.

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ventricular Function, Left