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Exercise and left ventricular function in chronic mitral valve insufficiency
Abstract/OtherAbstract :
The projects of this thesis examine the complex interaction between isotonic exercise, functional capacity, exercise-induced myocardial ischaemia, severity of regurgitation and left ventricular function in patients with significant chronic mitral regurgitation. The concept of left ventricular contractile reserve, i.e. the ability of the left ventricle to increase its contractility and decrease its end systolic volume with isotonic exercise, is explored.&#13;In patients with chronic isolated mitral regurgitation without coronary disease, isotonic exercise was associated with a slight decrease in left ventricular end diastolic volume but a marked decrease in end systolic volume, resulting in a significant increase in the stroke volume and ejection fraction. Early after uncomplicated mitral valve repair surgery, there was a significant decrease in the left ventricular ejection fraction with a proportion of the patients developing left ventricular dysfunction despite a normal pre-operative ejection fraction. When different pre-operative echocardiographic indices of left ventricular function were evaluated for their ability to predict left ventricular function after mitral valve repair, the exercise indices were found to be superior to resting indices. Left ventricular end systolic volume immediately after exercise was found to be the best predictor. The optimal cut-off was at 25 ml/m2, which had a sensitivity and specificity of 83% in predicting early post-operative left ventricular dysfunction. Exercise indices appeared to be superior to resting indices in identifying patients with persistent left ventricular dysfunction &lt1 year after mitral valve repair.&#13;The concept of contractile reserve was further examined by estimating the left ventricular stroke work from simplified pressure-volume loops, which were constructed from non-invasively&#13;obtained parameters with geometric assumptions. Left ventricular stroke work immediately after exercise, but not at rest, was found to be significantly lower in patients with latent left ventricular dysfunction. Patients without latent ventricular dysfunction had similar increases in stroke work with exercise compared with healthy normal subjects. The ability of the left ventricle to increase its stroke work with exercise, a measure of the contractile reserve, was correlated with the left ventricular ejection fraction after mitral valve repair. A numerical model was constructed using the clinical data as input parameters. The results from the numerical model were similar to that obtained from the clinical study, testifying that the observation made in the clinical study was valid and independent of the geometric assumptions made in constructing the simplified pressure-volume loops.&#13;Left ventricular pressure-volume loops under different loading conditions were plotted from simultaneously measured left ventricular pressure and volume to measure the left ventricular end systolic elastance (Ees) and preload recruitable stroke work relationship (MSW). Despite normal or near normal haemodynamics at rest, a significant proportion of the study patients were found to have impaired left ventricular contractility, as measured by Ees, consistent with a state of latent left ventricular dysfunction. Exercise indices of left ventricular function were better correlated with Ees and MSW than resting indices. There were highly significant inverse relationships between end systolic volume index immediately after exercise and Ees and MSW. Moreover, there was a significant powered relationship between MSW and exercise left ventricular ejection fraction. There was no such relationship between Ees or MSW and any of the resting echocardiographic indices of left ventricular function. Furthermore, the optimal diagnostic cut-off level of end systolic volume&#13;index after exercise at 25 ml/m2 accurately identified those with impaired left ventricular contractility as defined by an Ees of > 2 mmHg/ml.&#13;In patients with chronic organic mitral regurgitation with ejection fraction of < 50%, objectively measured functional capacity, VO2max, was correlated with exercise cardiac output, patient age and gender but not to the severity of the mitral regurgitation or the resting left ventricular function. The VO2max of these patients were significantly lower than that of age and gender-matched healthy controls despite these patients' relative lack of subjective symptoms. There were significant individual variations in the response of the severity of the mitral regurgitation to isotonic exercise. Patients whose regurgitant stroke volume increased had a lower exercise cardiac output than those whose regurgitant stroke volume decreased. Such variability was also seen with the response of the left ventricular function to exercise. Patients whose left ventricular end systolic volume increased with exercise, i.e. patients with a limited contractile reserve, had a lower exercise cardiac output and lower VO2max than those whose end systolic volume decreased with exercise.&#13;The determinants of exercise capacity were then examined in patients with functional mitral regurgitation and left ventricular dysfunction. VO2max of these patients was correlated with exercise cardiac output and exercise left ventricular ejection fraction, a situation similar to that seen in patients with organic mitral regurgitation and normal left ventricular function. Furthermore, indices of left ventricular systolic function at rest and pulsed wave Doppler indices of diastolic function showed no significant correlations with VO2max. The determinants of VO2max remained unchanged in these patients after four weeks of supervised exercise training. The four weeks of exercise training resulted in a significant decrease in left ventricular end systolic volume, a trend towards an increase in left ventricular ejection fraction and some restoration of the contractile&#13;reserve. The total exercise time almost doubled. However, this dramatic improvement in total exercise time was accompanied only by non-significant increases in VO2max and left ventricular ejection fraction. Therefore, the benefits of exercise training in these patients may involve more than just central mechanisms.&#13;Exercise induced myocardial ischaemia may also contribute to a limited left ventricular contractile reserve in patients with mitral regurgitation. Electrocardiographic changes at rest are commonly seen in patients with mitral regurgitation due to mitral valve prolapse. These resting electrocardiographic changes make exercise electrocardiography uninterpretable for exercise-induced ischaemia. Exercise electrocardiographic changes are also commonly encountered in these patients despite the absence of coronary artery disease and a normal resting electrocardiogram, making exercise electrocardiography unreliable as a non-invasive screening test for coronary artery disease. In these patients, exercise echocardiography was slightly more sensitive but significantly more specific in diagnosing significant coronary artery disease. The overall accuracy and the positive predictive value were significantly higher for exercise echocardiography than for exercise electrocardiography. The &quotcost-effectiveness" of different diagnostic strategies for coronary artery disease in patients with mitral valve prolapse was examined based on the results of the clinical study. Strategies involving exercise electrocardiography as part of the screening test were costly and were associated with a high false negative rate. Strategies involving exercise echocardiography were more accurate and less costly but the initial costs of exercise echocardiography for all patients meant that the overall costs were still considerable. Assessing the pre-test probability of coronary artery disease in these patients and using exercise echocardiography as the initial test for patients with at least a moderate pre-test probability of coronary artery disease seemed to result in the best compromise between cost and effectiveness.&#13;The studies of this thesis have shown that a limited cardiac contractile reserve is a sign of latent ventricular dysfunction in patients with chronic mitral regurgitation. The presence of a limited contractile reserve can be used to predict left ventricular dysfunction after mitral valve repair. The concept of a limited contractile reserve is further supported by the finding of a limited increase in left ventricular stroke work with exercise from a theoretical as well as a numerical model of left ventricular pressure-volume loops. Exercise echocardiographic indices show better correlations to invasively measured Ees and MSW than resting indices. VO2max in these patients is determined more by their ability to increase their forward cardiac output with exercise and not by the regurgitant volumes. Exercise training in patients with left ventricular dysfunction and functional mitral regurgitation results in some restoration of contractile reserve. Exercise echocardiography is also a reliable and cost-effective test in the non-invasive screening for coronary artery disease in these patients. Based on the results of the studies in the thesis, one can incorporate exercise echocardiography as one of the important assessment tools in the management of patients with significant mitral regurgitation as it allows measurement of left ventricular volumes and assessment of contractile reserve. Further studies are needed to examine whether a policy of monitoring of contractile reserve in these patients to guide therapy and surgical referral will result in a better preservation of long term left ventricular function, an improvement in functional capacity and patient outcome.
Authors :
Leung, Dominic Y. C.
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Publisher :  University of New South Wales. South Western Sydney Clinical School     Type :  -     Format :  -    
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Subject :
Ventricular function, mitral valve insufficiency, exercise, physiological aspects, heart, ventricles
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Copyright Information :, Copyright Dominic Y. C. Leung
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Languages :  en    
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