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Am Heart J. 2002 Jun;143(6):1101-6.

Deceleration time of early filling in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction: functional and prognostic independent value.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Puerto Real University Hospital, Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain.



Although diastolic function parameters have been mentioned as significant predictors of functional capacity and prognosis in patients with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction, it has not been fully elucidated whether they keep an independent predictive value when multiple parameters from a wide variety of examinations are considered.


We prospectively studied 60 patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II-IV chronic heart failure symptoms and LV ejection fraction <0.4. At the time of entry into the study, demographic data and functional class were obtained, and usual Doppler echocardiographic, radionuclide ventriculographic, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and hemodynamic variables were determined. Deceleration time of early filling (DT) and NYHA functional class were the only independent predictors of functional capacity as assessed by means of peak oxygen uptake (peak VO2). Mean follow-up was 21 +/- 6 months, and event-free survival was defined as the absence of cardiac death, urgent cardiac transplantation, or hospital admission requiring inotropic or mechanical support.


Multivariate Cox analysis showed that DT (P =.008), peak VO2 (P =.01), and NYHA class (P =.02) were independent predictors of event-free survival at 1 year. Patients in the lowest tertile of DT (<130 ms) had a significantly lower event-free survival than patients in the intermediate (44% vs 80%, P =.03) and in the highest tertile (44% vs 83%, P =.02). Patients with both a DT <130 milliseconds and a peak VO2 <14 mL/kg/min had the highest rate of events at 1 year (83% vs 22% for the remaining patients, relative risk 3.75, P <.001).


In patients with LV systolic dysfunction, DT is a powerful independent predictor of functional capacity and prognosis among a wide variety of variables. A shortened DT (<130 ms) identifies a subgroup of patients with a worse outcome, especially when combined with a reduced peak VO2 (<14 mL/kg/min).

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