Effect of valve replacement for aortic stenosis on ventricular function
Abstract: Background?Aortic stenosis (AS) is the commonest valve disease in the West. Aortic valve replacement (AVR) remains the only available management for AS and results in improved symptoms and recovery of ventricular functions. In addition, it is well known that AVR results in disruption of LV function mainly in the form of reversal of septal motion as well as depression of right ventricular (RV) systolic function. The aim of this thesis was to study, in detail, the early and mid-term response of ventricular function to AVR procedures (surgical and TAVI) as well as post operative patients’ exercise capacity.Methods?We studied LV and RV function by Doppler echocardiography and speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) in the following 4 groups; (1) 30 severe AS patients (age 62±11 years, 19 male) with normal LV ejection fraction (EF) who underwent AVR, (2) 20 severe AS patients (age 79±6 years, 14 male) who underwent TAVI, (3) 30 healthy controls (age 63±11 years, 16 male), (4) 21 healthy controls (age 57±9 years, 14 male) who underwent exercise echocardiography.Results: After one week of TAVI, the septal radial motion and RV tricuspid annulus peak systolic excursion (TAPSE) were not different from before, while surgical AVR had significantly reversed septal radial motion and TAPSE dropped by 70% compared to before. The extent of the reversed septal motion correlated with that of TAPSE (r=0.78, p<0.001) in the patients as a whole after AVR and TAVI (Study I). Compared with controls, the LV twist function was increased in AS patients before and normalized after 6 months of surgical AVR. In controls, the LV twist correlated with LV fractional shortening (r=0.81, p<0.001), a relationship which became weak in patients before (r=0.52, p<0.01) and after AVR (r=0.34, p=ns) (Study II). After 6 months of surgical AVR, the reversed septal radial motion was still significantly lower than before. The septal peak displacement also decreased and its time became prolonged. In contrast, the LV lateral wall peak displacement increased and the time to peak displacement was early. The accentuated lateral wall peak displacement correlated with the septal peak displacement time delay (r=0.60, p<0.001) and septal-lateral time delay (r=0.64, p<0.001) (Study III). In 21 surgical AVR patients who performed exercise echocardiography, the LV function was normal at rest but different from controls with exercise. At peak exercise, oxygen consumption (pVO2) was lower in patients than controls. Although patients could achieve cardiac output (CO) and heart rate (HR) similar to controls at peak exercise, the LV systolic and early diastolic myocardial velocities and strain rate as well as their delta changes were significantly lower than controls. pVO2 correlated with peak exercise LV myocardial function in the patients group only, and the systolic global longitudinal strain rate (GLSRs) at peak exercise was the only independent predictor of pVO2 in multivariate regression analysis (p=0.03) (Study IV).Conclusion: Surgical AVR is an effective treatment for AS patients, but results in reversed septal radial motion and reduced TAPSE. The newly developed TAVI procedure maintains RV function which results in preservation of septal radial motion. In AS, the LV twist function is exaggerated, normalizes after AVR but loses its relationship with basal LV function. While the reversed septal motion results in decreased and delayed septal longitudinal displacement which is compensated for by the accentuated lateral wall displacement and the time early. These patients remain suffering from limited exercise capacity years after AVR.
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