Left ventricular diastolic function and long-term outcomes in patients with normal exercise echocardiographic findings

S. Michael Gharacholou, Christopher G. Scott, Paul Y. Takahashi, Vuyisile T. Nkomo, Robert B. McCully, Nowell M. Fine, Patricia A. Pellikka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The objective of the present study was to determine whether diastolic dysfunction (DD) is associated with outcomes in the absence of myocardial ischemia. We studied 2,835 patients undergoing exercise echocardiography from January 2006 through December 2006 who had normal systolic function (ejection fraction ≥50%) and an absence of exercise-induced wall motion abnormalities. Diastolic function was graded as normal, mild DD, or moderate to severe DD. Medical records review and patient contact were undertaken to determine mortality, cardiovascular events (i.e., death, myocardial infarction, or stroke), incident heart failure (HF), and hospitalization. The mean ± SD age was 58.9 ± 12.8 years, and 54.0% were women. DD was present in 40.0% of the participants, with mild DD in 28.2% and moderate to severe DD in 11.8%. During a median follow-up of 4.4 years, 81 deaths and 114 cardiovascular events occurred, and DD was associated with greater rates of mortality, cardiovascular events, and HF events or hospitalizations (all p <0.001). On multivariate analysis, mild or moderate to severe DD (referent, normal function) was associated with HF or hospitalization (hazard ratio 1.45, 95% confidence interval 1.18 to 1.78, p <0.001 for mild DD; hazard ratio 1.75, 95% confidence interval 1.37 to 2.24, p <0.001 for moderate to severe DD) but was not independently associated with death or cardiovascular events. The diastolic index of filling pressure (E/e′) was independently associated with mortality, cardiovascular events, and HF or hospitalization. In conclusion, among patients without demonstrable myocardial ischemia, left ventricular DD was associated with greater event rates during long-term follow up but did not independently predict hard end points other than HF or hospitalization. E/e′ was independently associated with the clinical outcomes and might be an important echocardiographically derived parameter to identify in patients undergoing exercise echocardiography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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