Propensity Score-Matched Comparison of Right Ventricular Strain in Women and
Men Before and After Left Ventricular
Assist Device Implantation
Objective: Adverse events following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation are more common in women than in men, but the impact of gender differences on right ventricular (RV) failure is not well defined. Therefore, we calculated RV strain before and after LVAD implantation in matched groups of men and women to determine if gender differences in RV failure after LVAD might account for the gender differences in overall outcomes. Methods: RV free wall longitudinal strain (FWS) and fractional area change were calculated preoperatively and 3 months postoperatively using speckle-tracking echocardiography analysis. A total of 172 patients (86 women, 86 men) were then propensity score matched (1:1) for comparison. Results: Although women had higher preoperative CHA2DS2-VASc scores and more frequent moderate mitral regurgitation than men (P = 0.018), the preoperative hemodynamic parameters were similar. Preoperative RV-FWS was −6.7% in women and −6.0% in men (P = 0.65). Postoperatively, women had more progression to severe tricuspid regurgitation (TR) than men (15% vs 7%, P = 0.06). At 3 months the RV-FWS was −7.7% in women and −7.0% in men (P = 0.59). Postoperative TR was moderate–severe in 20% of women and in 9% of men (P = 0.001). Women had a higher incidence of venous thromboembolism, cardiac arrhythmias, and bleeding compared with men. Women also had higher mortality rates at discharge and 30 days after surgery, but the survival rates at 5 years were similar. Conclusions: RV strain measurements track standard hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters and confirm that gender differences in outcomes following LVAD implantation are not related to gender differences in RV failure rates.