Background: A new grading of tricuspid regurgitation (TR) beyond severe has been proposed. However, few studies assessing the validity of such a new grading scheme of TR have been conducted. Therefore, we evaluated associations of TR grades beyond severe with patient outcome and hemodynamics.
Methods: We retrospectively studied patients who underwent 2-dimensional echocardiography and were diagnosed with severe TR between January 2014 and December 2015. According to the vena contracta width of TR (VC), the patients were classified into 2 groups: VC under 14 mm (VC<14 mm) and VC 14 mm or greater (VC≥14 mm). Hemodynamic parameters were estimated by echocardiography and were obtained by right heart catheterization. Cardiovascular events were defined as cardiovascular death or admission for heart failure.
Results: A total of 679 patients (mean 72±17 years, 56% women) were included. During follow-up (median, 158 days; range, 29-891), 210 patients experienced cardiovascular events. By multivariate analysis, VC≥14 mm and left ventricular ejection fraction were independent predictors of cardiovascular events (hazard ratio, 1.57 [1.06-2.33]; hazard ratio, 0.99 [0.98-0.99], respectively). Patients with VC≥14 mm had significantly lower cardiac index (median, 1.8 versus 2.1 L/min per m2, P=0.001) and a higher prevalence of right atrial pressure 15 mm Hg (74% versus 60%, P<0.001) on echocardiography. Also, right heart catheterization confirmed higher right atrial pressure in patients with VC≥14 mm than those with VC<14 mm (16±8 versus 12±6 mm Hg, P=0.004). The new subset classification developed by cardiac index and right atrial pressure both on echocardiography predicted cardiovascular events (Log-rank P<0.001).
Conclusions: The relationship of VC≥14 mm to adverse outcome and poor hemodynamics showed the clinical relevance and need of a new grading system beyond severe. The new hemodynamic subset classification provides additional prognostic value for cardiovascular events in patients with severe TR.
Keywords: echocardiography; hemodynamics; prognosis; tricuspid valve insufficiency.