Usefulness of two-dimensional echocardiographic parameters of the left side of the heart to predict right ventricular failure after left ventricular assist device implantation

Tomoko Sugiyama Kato, Maryjane Farr, Paul Christian Schulze, Mathew Maurer, Khurram Shahzad, Shinichi Iwata, Shunichi Homma, Ulrich Jorde, Hiroo Takayama, Yoshifumi Naka, Linda Gillam, Donna Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


Right ventricular failure (RVF) after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) placement is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Echocardiography is a primary imaging method in the assessment of cardiac function; however, visualization of the right-sided heart is often technically difficult in patients with heart failure. We aimed to create a simple and generally applicable scoring system based on "left-sided echocardiographic parameters" to provide complementary information for predicting RVF after LVAD surgery. We reviewed 111 consecutive patients undergoing LVAD surgery from 2007 through 2010. Echocardiograms within 5 days before surgery were analyzed. RVF was defined as an unexpected RV assist devices requirement, nitric oxide inhalation >48 hours, and/or inotropic support >14 days. Thirty-five patients (32%) developed RVF. LV end-diastolic dimension (LVEDD) was smaller, LV ejection fraction was greater, and the left atrial diameter/LVEDD ratio was greater (p < 0.05 for all comparisons) in patients with RVF than in those without RVF. An RVF score (LV echocardiographic RVF score) was determined as a sum of points based on receiver operator characteristics analysis: LVEDD >78, 79 to 70, and <70 mm; LV ejection fraction ≤19%, 19% to 33%, and >33%; and left atrial diameter/LVEDD <0.63, 0.63 to 0.68, and >0.68; each variable was associated with 0 and 1 point and 2 points, respectively. LV echocardiographic RVF score <3 was associated with RVF with a sensitivity of 88.6% and score <5 with a specificity of 80.3%. In conclusion, patients with relatively small LV size, preserved LV contraction, and dilated left atrium were at higher risk for RVF after LVAD surgery. In conclusion, LV echocardiographic RVF score provides a novel tool to predict RVF after LVAD surgery, which does not involve invasive or technically complicated procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-251
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2012
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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