OBJECTIVES: Ventricular-arterial coupling represents the interaction between the left ventricle and the arterial system. Ventricular-arterial coupling is measured as the ratio between arterial elastance and ventricular end-systolic elastance. Scant information is available in critically ill children about these variables. The aim of this study was to prospectively assess ventricular-arterial coupling after pediatric cardiac surgery and evaluate its association with other commonly recorded hemodynamic parameters.
DESIGN: Single-center retrospective observational study.
SETTING: Pediatric cardiac surgery operating room.
PATIENTS: Children undergoing corrective cardiac surgery.
INTERVENTIONS: Hemodynamic monitoring with transesophageal echocardiography.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients with biventricular congenital heart disease, who underwent elective cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, were enrolled before operating room discharge. Chen single-beat modified method was applied to calculate ventricular-arterial coupling. The median arterial elastance and end-systolic elastance values were 5.9 mm Hg/mL (2.2-9.3 mm Hg/mL) and 4.3 mm Hg/mL (1.9-8.3 mm Hg/mL), respectively. The median ventricular-arterial coupling was 1.2 (1.1-1.6). End-systolic elastance differences between patients with a ventricular-arterial coupling below (low ventricular-arterial coupling) and above (high ventricular-arterial coupling) the median value were -5.2 (95% CI, -6.28 to -0.7; p = 0.008). Differently, arterial elastance differences were -2.1 (95% CI, -5.7 to 1.6; p = 0.19). Ventricular-arterial coupling showed a significant association with pre-ejection time (r, 0.44; p = 0.02), total ejection time (r, -0.41; p = 0.003), cardiac cycle efficiency (r, -0.46; p = 0.02), maximal delta pressure over delta time (r, -0.44; p = 0.02), ejection fraction (r, -0.57; p = 0.01), and systemic vascular resistances indexed (0.56; p = 0.003). After adjustment, total ejection time (p = 0.001), pre-ejection time (p = 0.02), and ejection fraction (p = 0.001) remained independently associated with ventricular-arterial coupling.
CONCLUSIONS: Median ventricular-arterial coupling values in children after cardiac surgery appear high (above 1). Uncoupling was particularly evident in high ventricular-arterial coupling patients who showed the lowest end-systolic elastance values (but not significantly different arterial elastance values) compared with low ventricular-arterial coupling. Ventricular-arterial coupling appears to be inversely proportional to pre-ejection time, total ejection time, and ejection fraction.