Mitral flow velocity changes after 6 months of optimized therapy provide important hemodynamic and prognostic information in patients with chronic heart failure

Egidio Traversi, Massimo Pozzoli, Giovanni Cioffi, Soccorso Capomolla, Giovanni Forni, Maurizio Sanarico, Luigi Tavazzi

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Transmitral flow velocity patterns evaluated by Doppler echocardiography provide important hemodynamic and prognostic information in various cardiac conditions. However, these patterns may change over time, and so far the hemodynamic and prognostic significance of these changes has not been established. Accordingly, we performed this study to determine the hemodynamic and prognostic value of changes in transmitral flow velocity patterns after 6 months of optimized medical treatment in patients with chronic heart failure due to ischemic or nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Ninety-eight consecutive patients with chronic heart failure underwent a clinical examination, a cardiopulmonary exercise test, and simultaneous Doppler echocardiographic and hemodynamic studies at baseline and after 6 months of optimized medical therapy. After the examination at 6 months, patients were followed up for 12 ± 7 months. Cardiac death and heart transplantation while patients were in critical condition were considered events. A restrictive pattern was defined by an early-to-late peak diastolic velocity ratio >1 and an early diastolic deceleration time ≤130 msec. Patients were grouped according to their mitral flow pattern at baseline and its changes after chronic optimized therapy. No significant changes in clinical, ergometric, and hemodynamic variables were found after 6 months in the 49 patients who had a persistent restrictive transmitral flow pattern or the 24 patients who had a persistent nonrestrictive transmitral flow pattern. In the 19 patients who had a restrictive pattern at baseline that reverted into a nonrestrictive pattern, this change was accompanied by a highly significant reduction in pulmonary wedge pressure (from 25 ± 7 mm Hg to 11 ± 3 mm Hg) and by an increase In exercise capacity, whereas in the 6 patients who had a nonrestrictive pattern that became restrictive, hemodynamic features markedly deteriorated. Seventeen of the 21 events occurred in the 49 patients (event rate 35%) with a persistent restrictive pattern, whereas the event rate was much lower in the 19 patients with a reversible restrictive pattern (5%) and in the 24 patients with a persistent nonrestrictive pattern (4%). Two (33%) of the 6 patients in whom a restrictive pattern developed had events. Cox analysis revealed that a restrictive transmitral flow pattern (p=0.0068) and peak rate of oxygen consumption (p= 0.0056) detected at the late examination were significantly related to cardiac events. These results show that in patients with chronic heart failure, changes in transmitral flow patterns after chronic optimized therapy are correlated with changes in pulmonary wedge pressure, are accompanied by changes in functional capacity, and provide relevant independent prognostic information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-819
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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