Reversible restrictive left ventricular diastolic filling with optimized oral therapy predicts a more favorable prognosis in patients with chronic heart failure

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1998 Jun;31(7):1591-7. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(98)00165-x.


Objectives: We sought to assess whether in clinically stable patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) the prolongation (i.e., increase) of an initially short (< or = 125 ms) Doppler transmitral deceleration time (DT) of early filling obtained with long-term optimal oral therapy predicts a more favorable prognosis.

Background: It has been recently demonstrated that transmitral early DT is a powerful independent predictor of poor prognosis in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. However, DT may change over time according to loading conditions and medical treatment.

Method: One hundred forty-four patients with CHF and a short DT (< or = 125 ms) underwent repeat Doppler echocardiographic study 6 months after the initial examination, while clinically stable with optimal oral therapy, and were then followed up for a mean period of 26 +/- 7 months.

Results: After 6 months, DT had not changed in 80 patients (group 1), whereas it was significantly prolonged (> 125 ms) in the remaining 64 patients (group 2). Baseline Doppler echocardiographic features were similar in the two groups. No changes were found after 6 months in group 1, whereas group 2 showed a slight but significant (p < 0.01) reduction in end-systolic volume, an improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (p < 0.01) and a decrease (p < 0.01) in the degree of tricuspid regurgitation. During follow-up, 37% of patients in group 1 experienced cardiac death versus 11% in group 2 (p < 0.0005). By Cox model analysis, prolongation of a short DT emerged as the single best predictor of survival (chi-square 15.70).

Conclusions: The prolongation of an initially short DT obtained with long-term optimal oral therapy predicts a more favorable outcome in clinically stable patients with CHF.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diastole
  • Echocardiography, Doppler*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Mitral Valve / physiopathology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology*


  • Cardiovascular Agents