Right Ventricular Ejection Fraction for the Prediction of Major Adverse Cardiovascular and Heart Failure-Related Events: A Cardiac MRI Based Study of 7131 Patients With Known or Suspected Cardiovascular Disease

Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2021 Mar;14(3):e011337. doi: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.120.011337. Epub 2021 Mar 16.


Background: There is increasing evidence that right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) may provide incremental value to left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction for the prediction of major adverse cardiovascular events. To date, generalizable utility for RVEF quantification in patients with cardiovascular disease has not been established. Using a large prospective clinical outcomes registry, we investigated the prognostic value of RVEF for the prediction of major adverse cardiovascular events- and heart failure-related outcomes.

Methods: Seven thousand one hundred thirty-one consecutive patients with known or suspected cardiovascular disease undergoing cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging were prospectively enrolled. Multichamber volumetric quantification was performed by standardized operational procedures. Patients were followed for the primary composite outcome of all-cause death, survived cardiac arrest, admission for heart failure, need for transplantation or LV assist device, acute coronary syndrome, need for revascularization, stroke, or transient ischemic attack. A secondary, heart failure focused outcome of heart failure admission, need for transplantation/LV assist device or death was also studied.

Results: Mean age was 54±15 years. The mean LV ejection fraction was 55±14% (range 6%-90%) with a mean RVEF of 54±10% (range 9%-87%). At a median follow-up of 908 days, 870 (12%) patients experienced the primary composite outcome and 524 (7%) the secondary outcome. Each 10% drop in RVEF was associated with a 1.3-fold increased risk of the primary outcome (P<0.001) and 1.5-fold increased risk of the secondary outcome (P<0.001). RVEF was an independent predictor following comprehensive covariate adjustment, inclusive of LV ejection fraction. Patients with an RVEF<40% experienced a 3.1-fold risk of the primary outcome (P<0.001) with a 1-year cumulative event rate of 22% versus 7% above this cutoff.

Conclusions: RVEF is a powerful and independent predictor of major adverse cardiac events with broad generalizability across patients with known or suspected cardiovascular disease. These findings support migration towards biventricular phenotyping for the classification of risk in clinical practice. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT04367220.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; heart failure; magnetic resonance imaging; prognosis; right ventricle.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04367220