Right ventricular function assessed by tissue Doppler echocardiography in older subjects without evidence for structural cardiac disease.
The aim of our study was to obtain right ventricular (RV) tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) data in older subjects (n = 95, mean age: 74.5 ± 4.6 years) without evidence of hemodynamically significant structural heart disease recruited from a large population-based cohort (ActiFE-Ulm study). Our data indicate that aging may be accompanied by decreasing RV diastolic function and at most little alterations of RV systolic function. Mean values of all parameters were still within the guideline-suggested reference range with most of them closer to the abnormality thresholds. On an individual basis, respective thresholds were also exceeded in some subjects (almost all parameters<20 %) despite the absence of evidence for structural cardiac disease. RV-TDI is a feasible method for evaluation of RV systolic and diastolic function also in a geriatric population as sufficient TDI data was obtainable in the majority of our participants. Published reference values also seem to be mostly suitable although among older subjects, presumed pathological measures might still be compatible with physiological age-related alterations. Therefore, they always have to be interpreted across the clinical context and in relation to other parameters of morphology and function obtained by other ultrasound imaging techniques (M-mode, B-mode, etc.) in the context of echocardiographic evaluation of the right heart.