©2012 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
Current understanding of the mechanisms of right ventricular (RV) systolic dysfunction in heart failure (HF) is limited. The authors analyzed a limited access dataset from the Evaluation Study of Congestive Heart Failure and Pulmonary Artery Catheterization Effectiveness (ESCAPE) provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). RV systolic function was measured by echocardiography at baseline and at 3-month follow-up using fractional area change. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed with linear regression. Of 433 patients enrolled in the ESCAPE trial, 190 had RV systolic function measured at baseline (decompensated HF) and 147 had it measured at 3-month follow-up. On both occasions, parameters of congestion were associated with RV systolic function. Interestingly, lower hematocrit level was also associated with better RV systolic function. In multivariate analysis, only wedge pressure remained a statistically significant predictor of RV dysfunction. In summary, cardiac diastolic pressures and corresponding echocardiographic parameters, as well as hematocrit level, predicted RV systolic function in both compensated and decompensated systolic HF.