Serial Doppler Echocardiography and Tissue Doppler Imaging in the Detection of Elevated Directly Measured Left Atrial Pressure in Ambulant Subjects With Chronic Heart Failure

OBJECTIVES:  Echocardiographic indexes including the ratio of transmitral to annular early diastolic velocities (E/e’) may identify raised invasively measured left ventricular filling pressures when tested in cross-sectional studies in some populations. The accuracy of these indexes when measured sequentially remains untested. We determined the accuracy of Doppler echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) measurements in detecting elevated directly measured left atrial pressure (LAP) in ambulant subjects with stable chronic heart failure.This study sought to determine the accuracy of Doppler echocardiography and TDI measurements in detecting elevated LAP in ambulant subjects with chronic heart failure using directly measured LAP as the reference.

METHODS:  Fifteen patients with New York Heart Association functional class II to III heart failure and a permanently implanted direct LAP monitoring device underwent serial echocardiography. Simultaneous resting mean LAP, Doppler mitral inflow, mitral annular TDI, and pulmonary venous inflow velocities were obtained on each occasion. Receiver-operator characteristic curve analysis was used to compare the accuracy of the Doppler variables to detect an elevated device LAP≥15 and ≥20 mm Hg.

RESULTS: The patients (13 men, mean age: 71 years, mean left ventricular ejection fraction: 32 ± 12%) underwent 60 simultaneous echocardiographic studies and LAP measurements with a median of 4 (1 to 7) studies per patient. Mean LAP was 16.9 (range 5 to 39 mm Hg) at
echocardiography (n = 60). E/e’ had the greatest accuracy for detection of LAP≥15 mm Hg with an area beneath the receiver-operator characteristic curve >0.9. In comparison, area under the curve for mitral E velocity and mitral E/A were 0.77 and 0.76, respectively (p<0.008 vs. E/e’ medial and average).

CONCLUSIONS:  Single and serial measurements of mitral inflow and mitral annular TDI velocities (E/e’) can reliably detect raised directly measured LAP in ambulant subjects with compensated chronic heart failure. 

PMID: 21920328

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