Alfonso Pecoraro, Jacques Janson, and Jacob Daniel Cilliers
Abbas Zaidi, David Oxborough, Daniel Xavier Augustine, Radwa Bedair, Allan Harkness, Bushra S Rana, Shaun Robinson, and Luigi P. Badano
Transthoracic echocardiography is the first-line imaging modality in the assessment of right-sided valve disease. The principle objectives of the echocardiographic study are to determine the aetiology, mechanism and severity of valvular dysfunction, as well as consequences on right heart remodelling and estimations of pulmonary artery pressure. Echocardiographic data must be integrated with symptoms, to inform optimal timing and technique of interventions. The most common tricuspid valve abnormality is regurgitation secondary to annular dilatation in the context of atrial fibrillation or left-sided heart disease. Significant pulmonary valve disease is most commonly seen in congenital heart abnormalities. The aetiology and mechanism of tricuspid and pulmonary valve disease can usually be identified by 2-dimensional assessment of leaflet morphology and motion. Colour flow and spectral Doppler are required for assessment of severity, which must integrate data from multiple imaging planes and modalities. Transoesophageal echo is used when transthoracic data is incomplete, although the anterior position of the right heart means that transthoracic imaging is often superior. Three-dimensional echocardiography is a pivotal tool for accurate quantification of right ventricular volumes and regurgitant lesion severity, anatomical characterisation of valve morphology and remodelling pattern, and procedural guidance for catheter-based interventions. Exercise echocardiography may be used to elucidate symptom status and demonstrate functional reserve. CMR and CT should be considered for complimentary data including right ventricular volume quantification, and precise cardiac and extracardiac anatomy. This BSE guideline aims to give practical advice on the standardised acquisition and interpretation of echocardiographic data relating to the pulmonary and tricuspid valves.
A J Fletcher, S Robinson, and B S Rana
Right atrial pressure (RAP) is a key cardiac parameter of diagnostic and prognostic significance, yet current two-dimensional echocardiographic methods are inadequate for the accurate estimation of this haemodynamic marker. Right-heart trans-tricuspid Doppler and tissue Doppler echocardiographic techniques can be combined to calculate the right ventricular (RV) E/e′ ratio – a reflection of RV filling pressure which is a surrogate of RAP. A systematic search was undertaken which found seventeen articles that compared invasively measured RAP with RV-E/e′ estimated RAP. Results commonly concerned pulmonary hypertension or advanced heart failure/transplantation populations. Reported receiver operating characteristic analyses showed reasonable diagnostic ability of RV-E/e′ for estimating RAP in patients with coronary artery disease and RV systolic dysfunction. The diagnostic ability of RV-E/e′ was generally poor in studies of paediatrics, heart failure and mitral stenosis, whilst results were equivocal in other diseases. Bland–Altman analyses showed good accuracy but poor precision of RV-E/e′ for estimating RAP, but were limited by only being reported in seven out of seventeen articles. This suggests that RV-E/e′ may be useful at a population level but not at an individual level for clinical decision making. Very little evidence was found about how atrial fibrillation may affect the estimation of RAP from RV-E/e′, nor about the independent prognostic ability of RV-E/e′ . Recommended areas for future research concerning RV-E/e′ include; non-sinus rhythm, valvular heart disease, short and long term prognostic ability, and validation over a wide range of RAP.
Shaun Robinson, Bushra Rana, David Oxborough, Rick Steeds, Mark Monaghan, Martin Stout, Keith Pearce, Allan Harkness, Liam Ring, Maria Paton, Waheed Akhtar, Radwa Bedair, Sanjeev Battacharyya, Katherine Collins, Cheryl Oxley, Julie Sandoval, Rebecca Schofield MBChB, Anjana Siva, Karen Parker, James Willis, and Daniel X Augustine
Since cardiac ultrasound was introduced into medical practice around the middle twentieth century, transthoracic echocardiography has developed to become a highly sophisticated and widely performed cardiac imaging modality in the diagnosis of heart disease. This evolution from an emerging technique with limited application, into a complex modality capable of detailed cardiac assessment has been driven by technological innovations that have both refined ‘standard’ 2D and Doppler imaging and led to the development of new diagnostic techniques. Accordingly, the adult transthoracic echocardiogram has evolved to become a comprehensive assessment of complex cardiac anatomy, function and haemodynamics. This guideline protocol from the British Society of Echocardiography aims to outline the minimum dataset required to confirm normal cardiac structure and function when performing a comprehensive standard adult echocardiogram and is structured according to the recommended sequence of acquisition. It is recommended that this structured approach to image acquisition and measurement protocol forms the basis of every standard adult transthoracic echocardiogram. However, when pathology is detected and further analysis becomes necessary, views and measurements in addition to the minimum dataset are required and should be taken with reference to the appropriate British Society of Echocardiography imaging protocol. It is anticipated that the recommendations made within this guideline will help standardise the local, regional and national practice of echocardiography, in addition to minimising the inter and intra-observer variation associated with echocardiographic measurement and interpretation.
Sadie Bennett, Chun Wai Wong, Timothy Griffiths, Martin Stout, Jamal Nasir Khan, Simon Duckett, Grant Heatlie, and Chun Shing Kwok
Echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is used in the risk stratification of patients with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, the prognostic value of the Tei index, an alternative measure of global cardiac function, in AMI patients is not well established.
We conducted a systematic review, using MEDLINE and EMBASE, to evaluate the prognostic value of the Tei index in predicting adverse outcomes in patients presenting with AMI. The data was collected and narratively synthesised.
A total of 16 studies were including in this review with 2886 participants (mean age was 60 years from 14 studies, the proportion of male patients 69.8% from 14 studies). Patient follow-up duration ranged from during the AMI hospitalisation stay to 57.8 months. Tei index showed a significant association with heart failure episodes, reinfarction, death and left ventricular thrombus formation in 14 out of the 16 studies. However, in one of these studies, Tei index was only significantly predictive of cardiac events in patients where LVEF was <40%. In two further studies, Tei index was not associated with predicting adverse outcomes once LVEF, left ventricular end-systolic volume index and left ventricular early filling time was taken into consideration. In the two remaining studies, there was no prognostic value of Tei index in relation to patient outcomes.
Tei index may be an important prognostic marker in AMI patients, however, more studies are needed to better understand when it should be used routinely within clinical practice.
V Sharma, L Al Saikhan, C Park, A Hughes, H Gu, S Saeed, A Boguslavskyi, G Carr-White, J Chambers, P Chowienczyk, M Jain, H Jessop, C Turner, G Bassindale-Maguire, W Baig, A Kidambi, S T Abdel-Rahman, D Schlosshan, A Sengupta, A Fitzpatrick, J Sandoval, S Hickman, H Procter, J Taylor, H Kaur, C Knowles, S Wheatcroft, K Witte, K Gatenby, J A Willis, A Kendler-Rhodes, O Slegg, K Carson, J Easaw, S R Kandan, J C L Rodrigues, R MacKenzie-Ross, T Hall, G Robinson, D Little, B Hudson, J Pauling, S Redman, R Graham, G Coghlan, J Suntharalingam, D X Augustine, J W M Nowak, and A T Masters
Peter J Savill, Dhrubo J Rakhit, and Benoy N Shah
Trisha Singh, Jonathan Hinton, Rosie Swallow, James Kersey, and Charles Hillier
Young stroke patients should be investigated thoroughly to look for cardiac and extra-cardiac sources of emboli. We present a patient who was investigated for a cardiac source of emboli following an ischemic stroke. She was found to have a small patent foramen ovale (PFO), but due to the late appearances of bubbles on the bubble study it was thought that this was an incidental finding. Further investigation confirmed a PAVM was the source of emboli causing her stroke.
- Paradoxical embolus is a rare complication of a pulmonary arterio-venous malformation (PAVM).
- Young stroke patients should be investigated for intra and extra-cardiac shunts, in particular, patent foramen ovale (PFO), ideally with a bubble study.
- Consider an extra-cardiac source of embolism when bubbles are seen in arriving late into the left heart.
Na Hyun Park, Hazem Lashin, and Rosalba Spiritoso
Fulminant myocarditis can present with life-threatening arrhythmias and cardiogenic shock due to ventricular failure. The diagnosis of myocarditis usually requires histological and immunological information, as its aetiology may be infectious (viral or non-viral), autoimmune or drug related. The treatment of fulminant myocarditis depends on the underlying cause but usually includes high dose systemic steroids as well as physiological support. Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-A ECMO) can be used to support patients as a bridge to recovery by supporting biventricular function and decompressing the heart. V-A ECMO carries risks and complications of its own such as thrombus formation or bleeding. Different diagnostic modalities, such as transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) and transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE), are central to the monitoring of progression of disease and recovery of heart function. This case highlights the importance of early recognition and early support with V-A ECMO in fulminant myocarditis, as well as the role of repeated echocardiography when weaning from physiological support.
- Myocarditis is a life-threatening condition and early recognition of cardiac failure can be assisted with a bedside echocardiogram.
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is used as a bridging method of treatment for patients with cardiogenic failure in myocarditis but has its own risks related to anticoagulation and the procedure itself.
- There are currently no standardised guidelines of when to wean a patient off extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, but echocardiography acts as an important guide to detect complications as well as cardiac recovery.
Diana deCampos, Rogério Teixeira, Carolina Saleiro, Ana Botelho, and Lino Gonçalves
Chronic aortic regurgitation (AR) patients typically remain asymptomatic for a long time. Left ventricular mechanics, namely global longitudinal strain (GLS), has been associated with outcomes in AR patients. The authors conducted a systematic review to summarize and appraise GLS impact on mortality, the need for aortic valve replacement (AVR) and disease progression in AR patients. A literature search was performed using these key terms ‘aortic regurgitation’ and ‘longitudinal strain’ looking at all randomized and nonrandomized studies conducted on chronic aortic regurgitation. The search yielded six observational studies published from 2011 and 2018 with a total of 1571 patients with moderate to severe chronic AR. Only two studies included all-cause mortality as their endpoint. The other studies looked at the association between GLS with AVR and disease progression. The mean follow-up period was 4.2 years. We noted a great variability of clinical, methodological and/or statistical origin. Thus, meta-analytic portion of our study was limited. Despite a relevant heterogeneity, an impaired GLS was associated with adverse cardiac outcomes. Left ventricular GLS may offer incremental value in risk stratification and decision-making.