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Coron Artery Dis. 1997 Nov-Dec;8(11-12):711-7.

Prognostic significance of changes in left ventricular systolic function in elderly patients with congestive heart failure.

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1
Department of Cardiology, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND DESIGN:

The prognostic significance of changes in left ventricular systolic function over time is unknown in elderly patients with heart failure. We prospectively examined the relation between 1-year changes in left ventricular systolic function by echocardiographic determination of atrioventricular plane displacement (AVPD), and subsequent 2-year mortality and morbidity in elderly patients with heart failure. AVPD determination allows for left ventricular function to be adequately assessed even when image quality is poor, as is common in the elderly.

METHODS:

AVPD was measured at baseline and 1 year in 123 patients with heart failure (age 76.0 +/- 5.4 years). An AVPD change of 1 mm or more (corresponding to an ejection fraction change of 0.05) was considered significant.

RESULTS:

AVPD decreased in 26 patients (21%), increased in 46 (37%), and was unchanged in 51 (42%). During a 2-year follow-up (from the 1-year examination) mortality, total hospitalizations, and hospitalizations for heart failure (35% of all hospitalizations) did not differ significantly between the three groups. Patients (n = 80) with AVPD of 8.2 mm or less (corresponding to left ventricular ejection fraction of 0.40 or less) at the 1-year examination demonstrated a higher mortality than patients with AVPD greater than 8.2 mm (43.8 versus 23.3%; P = 0.031), and also had more hospitalizations and days in hospital due to heart failure (1.0 +/- 1.5 versus 0.4 +/- 0.8, P = 0.020 and 10.4 +/- 15.6 versus 4.6 +/- 10.6, P = 0.033, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Left ventricular function was readily assessed in all patients by determination of AVPD. Our results indicate that single but not serial assessment of left ventricular systolic function by determination of AVPD is of value in assessing the prognosis in elderly patients with heart failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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