Right ventricular functional analysis utilizing first pass radionuclide angiography for pre-operative ventricular assist device planning: A multi-modality comparison

Ryan Avery, Kevin Day, Clinton Jokerst, Toshinobu Kazui, Elizabeth Krupinski, Zain Khalpey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Advanced heart failure treated with a left ventricular assist device is associated with a higher risk of right heart failure. Many advanced heart failures patients are treated with an ICD, a relative contraindication to MRI, prior to assist device placement. Given this limitation, left and right ventricular function for patients with an ICD is calculated using radionuclide angiography utilizing planar multigated acquisition (MUGA) and first pass radionuclide angiography (FPRNA), respectively. Given the availability of MRI protocols that can accommodate patients with ICDs, we have correlated the findings of ventricular functional analysis using radionuclide angiography to cardiac MRI, the reference standard for ventricle function calculation, to directly correlate calculated ejection fractions between these modalities, and to also assess agreement between available echocardiographic and hemodynamic parameters of right ventricular function. Methods: A retrospective review from January 2012 through May 2014 was performed to identify advanced heart failure patients who underwent both cardiac MRI and radionuclide angiography for ventricular functional analysis. Nine heart failure patients (8 men, 1 woman; mean age of 57.0 years) were identified. The average time between the cardiac MRI and radionuclide angiography exams was 38.9 days (range: 1 - 119 days). All patients undergoing cardiac MRI were scanned using an institutionally approved protocol for ICD with no device-related complications identified. A retrospective chart review of each patient for cardiomyopathy diagnosis, clinical follow-up, and echocardiogram and right heart catheterization performed during evaluation was also performed. Results: The 9 patients demonstrated a mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) using cardiac MRI of 20.7% (12 - 40%). Mean LVEF using MUGA was 22.6% (12 - 49%). The mean right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) utilizing cardiac MRI was 28.3% (16 - 43%), and the mean RVEF calculated by FPRNA was 32.6% (9 - 56%). The mean discrepancy for LVEF between cardiac MRI and MUGA was 4.1% (0 - 9%), and correlation of calculated LVEF using cardiac MRI and MUGA demonstrated an R of 0.9. The mean discrepancy for RVEF between cardiac MRI and FPRNA was 12.0% (range: 2 - 24%) with a moderate correlation (R = 0.5). The increased discrepancies for RV analysis were statistically significant using an unpaired t-test (t = 3.19, p = 0.0061). Echocardiogram parameters of RV function, including TAPSE and FAC, were for available for all 9 patients and agreement with cardiac MRI demonstrated a kappa statistic for TAPSE of 0.39 (95% CI of 0.06 - 0.72) and for FAC of 0.64 (95% of 0.21 - 1.00). Conclusion: Heart failure patients are increasingly requiring left ventricular assist device placement; however, definitive evaluation of biventricular function is required due to the increased mortality rate associated with right heart failure after assist device placement. Our results suggest that FPRNA only has a moderate correlation with reference standard RVEFs calculated using cardiac MRI, which was similar to calculated agreements between cardiac MRI and echocardiographic parameters of right ventricular function. Given the need for identification of patients at risk for right heart failure, further studies are warranted to determine a more accurate estimate of RVEF for heart failure patients during pre-operative ventricular assist device planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number89
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2017


  • Automatic implantable cardiac device
  • First pass radionuclide angiography
  • Left ventricular ejection fraction
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multigated acquisition radionuclide angiography
  • Right ventricular ejection fraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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