Preoperative three-dimensional echocardiography to assess risk of right ventricular failure after left ventricular assist device surgery

Michael S. Kiernan*, Amy L. French, David Denofrio, Yuvrajsinh J. Parmar, Duc Thinh Pham, Navin K. Kapur, Natesa G. Pandian, Ayan R. Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background Right ventricular failure (RVF) is associated with significant morbidity after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) surgery. Hemodynamic, clinical, and 2-dimensional echocardiographic variables poorly discriminate patients at risk of RVF. We examined the utility of 3-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) right ventricular (RV) volumetric assessment to identify patients at risk for RVF. Methods and Results RVF was defined as the need for inotropic infusion for >14 days after LVAD surgery or the need for biventricular assist device support. Preoperative RV volumes and ejection fraction (EF) were measured, blinded to clinical data, from transthoracic 3DE full volume data sets in 26 patients. Baseline variables and 3DE RV indices were compared between patients with and without RVF. Twenty-four patients received continuous-flow LVADs, and 2 required biventricular support devices. Ten patients required prolonged inotropes after LVAD placement. Baseline characteristics associated with RVF included higher right atrial pressure, higher right atrial pressure to pulmonary capillary wedge pressure ratio, and lower cardiac index and RV stroke work index (RVSWI). Echocardiographic indices associated with RVF included 3DE indexed RV end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes (RVEDVI and RVESVI) and RV ejection fraction (RVEF). The relationship between 3DE quantification of RV volumes and the development of RVF was independent from RVSWI: RVEDVI: odds ratio (OR) 1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-1.33 (P =.04); RVESVI: OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.01-1.28 (P =.03). Conclusions Quantitative 3DE is a promising method for pre-LVAD RV assessment. RV volumes assessed by 3DE are predictive of RVF in LVAD recipients independently from hemodynamic correlates of RV function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Right ventricular failure
  • left ventricular assist device
  • preoperative risk assessment
  • threedimensional echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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