Speckle-tracking echocardiography in comparison with ejection fraction for prediction of cardiovascular mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease

Clin Kidney J. 2021 Jan 19;14(6):1579-1585. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfaa161. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Background: Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death in end-stage renal disease (ESRD). To develop better means to assess cardiovascular risk in these patients, we compared conventional echocardiography-derived left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) with the novel method of 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography to determine cardiac strain.

Methods: Predictive performances of conventional EF and speckle-tracking echocardiography-derived global longitudinal strain (GLS) were compared using receiver-operator curve (ROC) analyses and calibration by calibration plots. We also took into account other known cardiovascular risk factors through multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results: The study comprised 171 ESRD patients (mean age 64 years, 64% male) on maintenance dialysis therapy (93% haemodialysis, 7% peritoneal dialysis) for an average period of 39 months. During 2.1 years of follow-up, 42 patients (25%) died from cardiovascular disease. ROC analysis of GLS resulted in an area under the curve of 0.700 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.603-0.797] compared with an area under the curve of EF of 0.615 (95% CI 0.514-0.716) (P = 0.059 for difference). The total absolute deviation between predicted and observed outcome frequencies obtained by calibration plots were 13.8% for EF compared with only 6.4% for GLS. Best results of ROC analysis (area under the curve = 0.759; P = 0.06), calibration and goodness-of-fit (χ2 = 28.34, P ≤ 0.0001, R 2 = 0.25) were achieved for GLS added to a baseline model consisting of known cardiovascular risk factors in a multivariate regression analysis.

Conclusions: In summary, in chronic dialysis patients, GLS is a more precise predictor of cardiovascular mortality than conventional echocardiography-derived EF.

Keywords: ESRD; cardiovascular; dialysis; echocardiography; prognosis.