Objectives: This study was undertaken to evaluate the frequency of restrictive left ventricular filling pattern in dilated cardiomyopathy, as well as its clinical and hemodynamic correlations and prognostic implications.
Background: In dilated cardiomyopathy, as in other heart diseases, different left ventricular filling patterns were observed on Doppler echocardiography. Some patients showed a "restrictive filling pattern," similar to that associated with restrictive cardiomyopathy, characterized by predominant E waves and a shortened E deceleration time.
Methods: Pulsed Doppler transmitral curves were analyzed in 79 consecutive patients with dilated cardiomyopathy assigned to two study groups according to E deceleration time: group 1 (n = 36) had a restrictive left ventricular filling pattern (E deceleration time < 115 ms); group 2 (n = 43) had an E deceleration time > or = 115 ms.
Results: Patients in group 1 were significantly younger, in a higher New York Heart Association functional class, more frequently had a third heart sound and had a higher left ventricular filling pressure at catheterization. In addition, they showed more severe left and right ventricular dysfunction and dilation, a larger left atrium and more severe mitral regurgitation. A restrictive filling pattern was associated at Doppler study with a higher E wave velocity, lower A wave velocity and higher E/A ratio. During a follow-up interval of 22 +/- 14 months, all 14 patients who subsequently died or required heart transplantation showed a restrictive left ventricular filling pattern. At multivariate analysis, E deceleration time was the most powerful independent prognostic indicator of poor outcome or transplantation.
Conclusions: Restrictive left ventricular filling pattern is frequent in dilated cardiomyopathy, is associated with more severe disease and is a powerful indicator of increased mortality risk and need for heart transplantation.