Chronic aortic regurgitation: reassessment of the prognostic value of preoperative left ventricular end-systolic dimension and fractional shortening.
The prognostic significance of a preoperative echocardiographic left ventricular end-systolic dimension (ESD) greater than 55 mm and/or fractional shortening (FS) of 25% or less was evaluated retrospectively in 84 patients who had undergone aortic valve replacement for isolated chronic aortic regurgitation due to various causes. Postoperative survival, improvement in symptoms, and echocardiographic evidence of regression of left ventricular dilatation and hypertrophy were compared between patients with a preoperative ESD greater than 55 mm (category 1) and those with an ESD of 55 mm or less (category 2) and between patients with FS of 25% or less (category 3) and those with FS greater than 25% (category 4). Patients in categories 1 and 3 had a higher preoperative left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (EDD) and cross-sectional area than those in categories 2 and 4, respectively, but their preoperative functional impairment (NYHA class) was similar. There were 13 deaths, only two of which (one early, one late) could be attributed to left ventricular dysfunction. In both, FS was 25% or less and in one ESD was greater than 55 mm. There was a weak association without useful positive predictive value between the echocardiographic variables and postoperative death due to all causes. Among 42 patients with a preoperative ESD greater than 55 mm and/or FS of 25% or less, 33 (79%) were alive at a mean follow-up of 29.5 months. Symptoms improved in all categories of survivors, with the postoperative NYHA class being similar between categories 1 and 2 and between categories 3 and 4. Among 48 survivors with high-quality echocardiograms both before and after surgery, EDD fell in all groups but fell to a lesser extent in category 3 than in category 4. Postoperative cross-sectional area fell to the same level in all categories. Follow-up intervals were similar in all categories. We conclude that in patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for chronic aortic regurgitation, a preoperative ESD greater than 55 mm or an FS of 25% or less does not reliably predict early or late death, does not correlate with lack of improvement in symptoms, and does not preclude postoperative regression of left ventricular dilatation and hypertrophy. Thus these echocardiographic criteria alone cannot be used for the timing of surgical intervention in these patients.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association