Myocardial and Cardiocirculatory Reserve in Asymptomatic Aortic Stenosis and Preserved Ejection Fraction

Olaf Schulz, Debora Brala, Thomas G. Allison, Ingolf Schimke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: Managing patients with asymptomatic severe aortic stenosis (AS) remains a major challenge. Myocardial as well as cardiocirculatory reserve have been hypothesized to predict outcome in patients with asymptomatic AS.

METHODS: A total of 48 patients (indexed aortic valve area 0.39 +/- 0.12 cm2/m2; ejection fraction (EF) 67 +/- 7%) underwent spiroergometry and dobutamine stress echocardiography. Death or valve surgery served as a combined endpoint for follow up.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients reached the endpoint after a mean of 756 days (range: 100-2146 days). Age- and gender-corrected univariate Cox proportional analysis revealed the presence of mild obstructive lung disease, stroke work loss (SWL), end-systolic diameter index, and E/Flow propagation velocity as the best predictive clinical, valvular, cardiostructural, and left ventricular filling pressure parameters, respectively. After inclusion of these parameters into a baseline multivariable Cox proportional hazard model, SWL (HR 1.21 per rise of 1 unit, CI 1.08-1.35, p = 0.0005) and female gender (HR 3.37, CI 1.50-7.59, p = 0.0044) were independently predictive. Similarly, the best-performing myocardial parameter, EF after dobutamine, was independently predictive (HR 0.75 per 5 units, CI 0.57-0.99, p = 0.035) after inclusion. The best-performing exercise capacity parameter, Watt(max), was of borderline significance (HR 0.93 per 5 units, CI 0.86-1.00, p = 0.0505). For each parameter, cut-off values were determined by time-dependent receiver-operator characteristics. The Kaplan-Meier curves of the patients above versus below the cut-offs differed significantly for SWL (p = 0.001), Wattm (p = 0.001), and gender (p = 0.013).

CONCLUSION: Besides SWL and female gender, the EF after dobutamine as well as highest exercise stress intensity reached are helpful in determining the prognosis of asymptomatic patients with moderate-severe AS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of heart valve disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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