While left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) has been shown to have prognostic value in ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICMX) patients, right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) has not been systematically evaluated in either ICMX or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (NICMX) patients. Moreover, an accurate estimation of RVEF
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While left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) has been shown to have prognostic value in ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICMX) patients, right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) has not been systematically evaluated in either ICMX or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (NICMX) patients. Moreover, an accurate estimation of RVEF is problematic due to the geometry of the right ventricle (RV). Over the years, there have been improvements in the resolution, image acquisition and post-processing software for cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR), such that CMR has become the “gold standard” for measuring RV volumetrics and RVEF. We hypothesize that CMR defines RVEF more so than LVEF and might have prognostic capabilities in ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy patients (ICMX and NICMX). Methods: Patients that underwent CMR at our institution between January 2005 and October 2012 were retrospectively selected if three-dimensional (3D) LVEF < 35%. Patients were further divided into ICMX and NICMX groups. The electronic medical record (EMR) database inquiry determined all-cause mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). Additionally, a Social Security Death Index (SSI) database inquiry was performed to determine all-cause mortality in patients who were lost to follow-up. Patients were further sub-grouped on the basis of 3D RVEF ≥ 20%. Separately, patients were sub-grouped by LVEF ≥ 20% in both ICMX and NICMX cases. A cut-off of ≥20% was chosen for the RVEF based on the results of prior studies showing significance based on Kaplan–Meier (KM) survival curves. Cumulative event rates were estimated for each subgroup using the KM analysis and were compared using the log-rank test. The 3D RV/LVEFs were compared to all-cause mortality and MACE. ICMX patients were defined using the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results: From a 7000-patient CMR database, 753 heart failure patients were selected. Eighty-seven patients met WHO definition of ICMX and NICMX (43 ICMX and 44 NICMX). The study patients were followed for a median of 3 years (Interquartile range or IQR 1.5–6.5 years). The mean age of patients was 58 ± 13 years; 79% were male. In ICMX, mean 3D LVEF was 21% ± 6% and mean 3D RVEF was 38% ± 14%, while for NICMX, mean 3D LVEF was 16% ± 6% and mean 3D RVEF was 30% ± 14% (p < 0.005 for intra- and inter-group comparison). It should be noted that LVEF < RVEF in both groups and the ejection fraction (EF) in NICMX was less than the corresponding EF in ICMX. Overall mortality was higher in ICMX than NICMX (12/40, 30% vs. 7/43, 16%; p < 0.05). Patients were stratified based on both RVEF and LVEF with a threshold of EF ≥ 20% separately. RVEF but not LVEF was a significant predictor of death for NICMX (χ2
= 8; p < 0.005), while LVEF did not predict death in ICMX (χ2
= 2, p = not significant). Similarly, time to MACE was predicted by RVEF for NICMX (χ2
= 9; p < 0.005) but not by LVEF in ICMX (χ2
= 1; p = NS). Importantly, RVEF, while predictive of NICMX MACE, did not emerge as a predictor of survival or MACE in ICMX. Conclusions: Via 3D CMR in non-ischemic CMX patients, RVEF has important value in predicting death and time to first MACE while 3D LVEF is far less predictive.