Estimation of left and right ventricular filling pressures after heart transplantation by tissue doppler imaging
Heart Failure, Systolic
Current Doppler methods have been unreliable in estimating filling pressures in heart transplants. Tissue Doppler imaging is a technique that permits evaluation of myocardial relaxation; combined with transvalvular E velocity, it could improve estimation of these pressures. To investigate this possibility, we evaluated 50 patients by right-sided cardiac catheterization and Doppler echocardiography simultaneously. Their mean +/-SD age was 53+/-15 years and the mean age of donor hearts was 30+/-12.5 years. The mitral E velocity was combined with the early myocardial relaxation (Ea) velocity by tissue Doppler at the lateral border of the mitral annulus. Likewise, the tricuspid E velocity was combined with Ea at the lateral corner of the tricuspid annulus. Mean wedge pressure related weakly to mitral inflow variables but strongly to E/Ea [r=0.8; wedge pressure=2.6+1.46(E/Ea)]. In 25 repeat right-sided cardiac catheterizations, changes in mean wedge pressure were well detected by Doppler, with a mean difference of -0.7+/-3 mm Hg. Mean right atrial pressure related weakly to routine tricuspid inflow variables but strongly to tricuspid E/Ea [r=0.79; n=38; right atrial pressure=1.76(E/Ea) - 3.7]. In 18 repeat right-sided cardiac catheterizations, changes in mean right atrial pressure were well detected by Doppler, with a mean difference of 0+/-3.45 mm Hg. Mean wedge pressure and mean right atrial pressure can be estimated in heart transplants with reasonable accuracy using the ratio of E/Ea. Furthermore, this method can accurately track changes in filling pressures.