Contraction Patterns of the Right Ventricle Associated with Different Degrees of Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction

Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2021 Oct;14(10):e012774. doi: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.121.012774. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


Background: The functional adaptation of the right ventricle (RV) to the different degrees of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction remains to be clarified. We sought to (1) assess the changes in RV contraction pattern associated with the reduction of LV ejection fraction (EF) and (2) analyze whether the assessment of RV longitudinal, radial, and anteroposterior motion components of total RVEF adds prognostic value.

Methods: Consecutive patients with left-sided heart disease who underwent clinically indicated transthoracic echocardiography were enrolled in a single-center prospective observational study. Adverse outcome was defined as heart failure hospitalization or cardiac death. Cross-sectional analysis using the baseline 3-dimensional echocardiography studies was performed to quantify the relative contribution of the longitudinal, radial, and anteroposterior motion components to total RVEF.

Results: We studied 292 patients and followed them for 6.7±2.2 years. In patients with mildly and moderately reduced LVEF, the longitudinal and the anteroposterior components of RVEF decreased significantly, while the radial component increased resulting in preserved total RVEF (RVEF: 50% [46%-54%] versus 47% [44%-52%] versus 46% [42%-49%] in patients with no, mild, or moderate LV dysfunction, respectively; data presented as median and interquartile range). In patients with severe LV systolic dysfunction (n=34), a reduction in all 3 RV motion components led to a significant drop in RVEF (30% [25%-39%], P<0.001). In patients with normal RVEF (>45%), the anteroposterior component of total RVEF was a significant and independent predictor of outcome (hazard ratio, 0.960 [CI, 0.925-0.997], P<0.001).

Conclusions: In patients with left-sided heart disease, there is a significant remodeling of the RV associated with preservation of the RVEF in patients with mild or moderate LV dysfunction. In patients with normal RVEF, the measurement of the anteroposterior component of RV motion provided independent prognostic value.

Keywords: 3-D echocardiography; left ventricular dysfunction; outcomes research; right ventricle; right ventricular dysfunction.