We sought to determine whether right ventricular (RV) function late after myocardial infarction (MI) impacts long-term prognosis.
Right ventricular failure predicts early mortality in patients with acute MI. The prognostic impact of RV function late after MI is not well defined. Accordingly, we determined whether RV dysfunction late after MI influences survival beyond traditional risk predictors, including patient age, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and infarct size.
We studied 147 consecutive patients >30 days after MI (mean age of infarct 6.7 ± 8.2 years) who were referred for contrast-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging. We assessed hazard ratios for death by RV ejection fraction (RVEF). The association of RVEF with mortality adjusted to traditional risk predictors was examined by using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models.
A total of 26 deaths occurred during a median follow-up of 17 months (range 6 to 53 months). By univariable analysis, RVEF <40% was strongly associated with mortality (unadjusted hazard ratio 4.02; p = 0.0007). By multivariable analysis that adjusted for patient age, left ventricular (LV) infarct size, and LVEF, RVEF <40% remained a significant independent predictor of mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 2.86; p = 0.03).
Right ventricular ejection fraction quantified late after MI is an important predictor of prognosis adjusted for patient age, LV infarct size, and LVEF. Accordingly, evaluation of RVEF using cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging can improve risk-stratification and potentially refine patient management after MI.