Pressure and volume loading of the right ventricle have opposite effects on left ventricular ejection fraction

E. K. Louie, S. S. Lin, S. I. Reynertson, B. H. Brundage, S. Levitsky, S. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Left ventricular ejection fraction has been reported to be depressed in patients with right ventricular volume overload (RVVO) due to Ebstein's anomaly and uncomplicated atrial septal defect, whereas it is usually preserved in right ventricular pressure overload (RVPO) due to congenital pulmonic stenosis. In the present study, we examined the hypothesis that the differential timing of active displacement of the ventricular septum into the left ventricle in RVPO (end systole) and RVVO (end diastole) results in opposite effects of RVPO and RVVO on left ventricular ejection fraction. Methods and Results: Ten patients with severe tricuspid regurgitation after tricuspid valve resection for endocarditis and 10 patients with primary pulmonary hypertension were studied as models of isolated RVVO and RVPO, respectively. Left ventricular ejection fraction, end-diastolic volume, and regional systolic shortening were measured with the use of echocardiographic techniques in these 20 patients and 10 healthy control subjects. In RVPO, despite marked underfilling of the left ventricle relative to the healthy control subjects (end-diastolic volume, 48±26 versus 77±20 mL; P<.02), left ventricular ejection fraction was similar to that of the control subjects (56±5% versus 60±4%; P=.07) and only 1 of 10 RVPO patients had an ejection fraction of less than 50%. In contrast, in RVVO the left ventricle was volume replete (end-diastolic volume, 84±26 versus 77±20 mL; P=NS), but left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly depressed (51±4% versus 60±4%, P<.001) compared with the control subjects, and 4 of 10 RVVO patients had an ejection fraction of less than 50%. Analysis of systolic fractional shortening along two perpendicular short-axis diameters and the mutually orthogonal long axis demonstrated isolated augmentation of fractional shortening in the ventricular septal-to-posterolateral free wall dimension in RVPO (47.4±13.7% versus 34.2±13.1%, P<.05) and isolated depression of fractional shortening along that same dimension in RVVO (13.7±11.8% versus 34.2±13.1%, P<.001) compared with the control subjects. Conclusions: End-systolic leftward ventricular septal shift in RVPO results in isolated augmentation of systolic shortening in the septal-to-free wall dimension, whereas end-diastolic leftward ventricular septal shift in RVVO results in isolated reduction in systolic shortening in the septal-to-free wall dimension. As a result, despite relative underfilling of the left ventricle in RVPO, resting left ventricular ejection fraction is preserved, whereas ejection fraction is depressed for the volume-replete left ventricle of patients with RVVO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-824
Number of pages6
JournalCirculation
Volume92
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 1995

Keywords

  • hypertension, pulmonary
  • pressure
  • valves
  • ventricles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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