Grading right ventricular dysfunction (RVD) in patients with left ventricular (LV) disease has earned little attention. In the present study, we established an echocardiographic RVD score and investigated how increments of the score correspond to RVD at right heart catheterization.
We included 95 patients with LV disease consecutively referred for heart transplant or heart failure work-up with catheterization and echocardiography within 48 h. The RVD score (5 points) included well-known characteristics of the development from compensated to decompensated right ventricular (RV) function: pulmonary hypertension, reduced RV strain, RV area dilatation, moderate/severe tricuspid regurgitation, and increased right atrial pressure (RAP) by echocardiography. Comparing three groups with increments of RVD score [1 (mild), 2-3 (moderate), and 4-5 (severe)] showed more advanced RVD with increasing RV end-diastolic pressure (P < 0.001) and signs of uncoupling to load (reduced ratio between RV and pulmonary artery elastance, P < 0.001) and more spherical RV shape (RV area/length, P < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for detection of severe RV (RAP ≥ 10 mmHg) showed for the RVD score an area under the curve of 0.88 compared with 0.69, 0.68, and 0.64 for RV strain, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, and fractional area change, respectively. A patient with RVD score ≥ 4 had a 6.7-fold increase in likelihood of severe RVD, and no patient with RVD score ≤ 1 had severe RVD.
In this proof of concept study, a novel RVD score outperformed the widely used longitudinal parameters regarding grading of RVD severity, with a potential role for refined diagnosis, follow-up, and prognosis assessment in heart failure patients.

© 2021 The Authors. ESC Heart Failure published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society of Cardiology.