Importance of two-dimensional echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular systolic function in patients presenting to the emergency room with cardiac-related symptoms.
BACKGROUND This prospective study was designed to test the hypothesis that the assessment of left ventricular systolic function at the time of emergency room (ER) presentation provides valuable diagnostic and prognostic information in patients with cardiac-related symptoms.
METHODS AND RESULTS The study is based on a 2-year follow-up of 171 consecutive patients evaluated in the ER for such symptoms. In the course of follow-up, one third of the patients (55 of 171) suffered a major cardiac event. For those with left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD), the age-adjusted rate of early events (occurring within 48 hours of presentation) was more than eight times higher than for those without LVSD (26.9% versus 3.3%, p less than 0.01). For events occurring after 48 hours of ER presentation, LVSD was associated with a nearly fourfold excess of cardiac events (23.9% versus 6.4%, p less than 0.01). Other than advanced age, the most important confounder for early events included an abnormal electrocardiogram diagnostic for acute myocardial infarction. Confounders for late events included advanced age and a history of hypertension. LVSD on two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE) was the only finding associated with early and late events after controlling for other risk factors. In addition, the prediction of these events derived from the combination of historical, clinical, electrocardiographic, and 2DE findings was significantly improved when accounting for the presence or absence of LVSD (p less than 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that the 2DE assessment of left ventricular systolic function provides valuable diagnostic and prognostic information in subjects presenting to the ER with cardiac-related symptoms.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association