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Am J Cardiol. 2012 Feb 1;109(3):383-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.09.022. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Analysis of circumferential and longitudinal left ventricular systolic function in patients with non-ischemic chronic heart failure and preserved ejection fraction (from the CARRY-IN-HFpEF study).

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Department of Cardiology, Villa Bianca Hospital, Trento, Italy.


Heart failure with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HFpEF) is implicitly attributed to diastolic dysfunction, often recognized in elderly patients with hypertension, diabetes, and renal dysfunction. In these patients, left ventricular circumferential and longitudinal shortening is often impaired despite normal ejection fraction. The aim of this prospective study was to analyze circumferential and longitudinal shortening and their relations in patients with nonischemic HFpEF. Stress-corrected midwall shortening (sc-MS) and mitral annular peak systolic velocity (S') were measured in 60 patients (mean age 73 ± 13 years) with chronic nonischemic HFpEF in stable New York Heart Association functional class II or III and compared to the values in 120 healthy controls and 120 patients with hypertension without HFpEF. Sc-MS was classified as low if <89% and S' as low if <8.5 cm/s (the 10th-percentile values of healthy controls). Isolated low sc-MS was detected in 46% of patients with HFpEF, 27% of patients with hypertension, and 2% of controls; isolated low S' was detected in 11% of patients with HFpEF, 7% of patients with hypertension, and 5% of controls; and combined low sc-MS and low S' was detected in 26% of patients with HFpEF, 9% of patients with hypertension, and 5% of controls (HFpEF vs others, all p values <0.001). Thus, any alteration of systolic function was found in 83% of patients with HFpEF. The relation between sc-MS and S' was nonlinear (cubic). Changes in S' within normal values corresponded to negligible variations in sc-MS, whereas the progressive decrease below 8.5 cm/s was associated with substantial decrease in sc-MS. In conclusion, circumferential and/or longitudinal systolic dysfunction is present in most patients with HFpEF. Circumferential shortening normalized by wall stress identifies more patients with concealed left ventricular systolic dysfunction than longitudinal shortening.

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