Background: This study assesses the prognostic values of left ventricular (LV) filling patterns, as determined by tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), on cardiac events in patients with LV systolic dysfunction. Normally observed in patients with an advanced form of cardiac disease, an abnormal diastolic pattern by Doppler echocardiography reflects a poor prognosis. Recent studies using TDI have significantly contributed to efforts to evaluate diastolic function and demonstrate the prognostic importance of TDI-derived indices of the LV function.
Methods and Results: One hundred seventy-three consecutive adult patients, mean (standard deviation) age of 62.4 (14.3), with a diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy and LV ejection fraction <45% were enrolled. During a follow-up period of 321 ± 100 days, 9 patients expired from cardiac complications and 29 underwent readmission for decompensated heart failure. In multivariate analysis, only the mean value of early (Em) and late (Am) diastolic velocities ratio assessed by TDI, and LV end-diastolic pressure were found to be independent predictors of a cardiac event. The optimal cutoff value for forecasting cardiac event was Em/Am ≥0.74 with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.82; sensitivity and specificity were 84% and 76%, respectively (P < 0.001; standard error = 0.046).
Conclusions: Em/Am ratio is the important predictor of cardiac event, which allows normalization for other risk factors in patients with a clinical diagnosis of chronic heart failure with LV dysfunction comparing with conventional Doppler echocardiography.