Supranormal Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction, Stroke Volume, and Cardiovascular Risk: Findings From Population-Based Cohort Studies

JACC Heart Fail. 2022 Aug;10(8):583-594. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2022.05.007.


Background: Supranormal ejection fraction by echocardiography in clinically referred patient populations has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The prognostic implication of supranormal left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)-assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR)-in healthy, community-dwelling individuals is unknown.

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to investigate the prognostic implication of supranormal LVEF as assessed by CMR and its inter-relationship with stroke volume among community-dwelling adults without CVD.

Methods: Participants from the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) and DHS (Dallas Heart Study) cohorts free of CVD who underwent CMR with LVEF above the normal CMR cutoff (≥57%) were included. The association between cohort-specific LVEF categories and risk of clinically adjudicated major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) was assessed using adjusted Cox models. Subgroup analysis was also performed to evaluate the association of LVEF and risk of MACE among individuals stratified by left ventricular stroke volume index.

Results: The study included 4,703 participants from MESA and 2,287 from DHS with 727 and 151 MACE events, respectively. In adjusted Cox models, the risk of MACE was highest among individuals in LVEF Q4 (vs Q1) in both cohorts after accounting for potential confounders (MESA: HR = 1.27 [95% CI: 1.01-1.60], P = 0.04; DHS: HR = 1.72 [95% CI: 1.05-2.79], P = 0.03). A significant interaction was found between the continuous measures of LVEF and left ventricular stroke volume index (P interaction = 0.02) such that higher LVEF was significantly associated with an increased risk of MACE among individuals with low but not high stroke volume.

Conclusions: Among community-dwelling adults without CVD, LVEF in the supranormal range is associated with a higher risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes, particularly in those with lower stroke volume.

Keywords: cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR); cardiovascular outcomes; supranormal ejection fraction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors
  • Heart Failure*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / adverse effects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left