The aim of this research was to assess right ventricular diastolic and systolic function before and after pulmonary valve replacement (PVR) in adult patients after repair of tetralogy of Fallot.
Pulmonary valve replacement (PVR) in adult patients late after repair of tetralogy of Fallot leads to rapid improvement of right ventricular (RV) systolic function.
A total of 16 patients and 8 healthy subjects were included. Median age at initial repair was 4.9 (0.9 to 13.1) years, and mean age at PVR was 28.7 (19.5 to 45.6) years. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was performed before and 8 and 22 months after PVR. Right ventricular volumes and function as well as RV in- and outflow patterns were assessed.
The volume of the early filling of the RV (Evol) increased from 49.8 +/- 14.7 ml to 53.8 +/- 19.3 ml (not significant) and 62.0 +/- 18.9 ml, respectively (p < 0.05), whereas the volume of the atrial contraction (Avol) remained unchanged. Consequently, the Evol/Avol ratio increased from 1.4 +/- 0.7 before PVR to 1.6 +/- 0.7 at 8 months (not significant) and 2.3 +/- 1.2 at 22 months (p < 0.01). The Evol/Avol ratio was not significantly different from the healthy subjects at 22 months, indicating late recovery of diastolic function. Systolic function improved rapidly after PVR; the indexed RV end-systolic volume decreased from 93.7 +/- 33.0 ml/m2 to 60.9 +/- 18.4 ml/m2 (p < 0.01) and 54.8 +/- 21.0 ml/m2 (p < 0.01).
In adult patients late after total repair of Fallot, PVR leads to late improvement of diastolic function. We speculate that the rapid volume unloading after PVR increases systolic performance, whereas improvement in diastolic function requires long-term remodeling.