Myocardial function including estimates of myocardial work in young adults born very preterm or with extremely low birthweight - a cohort study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonBMC Cardiovascular Disorders. 2023, 23, 222. 10.1186/s12872-023-03253-4
Background Preterm birth and low birthweight have been associated with increased risk of heart failure and cardiovascular disease in young adulthood. However, results from clinical studies of myocardial function are not consistent. Echocardiographic strain analyses allow detection of early stages of cardiac dysfunction, and non-invasive estimates of myocardial work can provide additional information on cardiac function. We aimed to evaluate left ventricular (LV) myocardial function including measures of myocardial work in young adults born very preterm (gestational age < 29 weeks) or with extremely low birthweight (< 1000 g) (PB/ELBW), compared with term-born age- and sex matched controls. Methods 63 PB/ELBW and 64 controls born in Norway in the periods 1982–1985, 1991–1992, and 1999–2000 were examined with echocardiography. LV ejection fraction (EF) and LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) were measured. Myocardial work was estimated from LV pressure-strain loops after determination of GLS and construction of a LV pressure curve. Diastolic function was evaluated by determination of the presence or absence of elevated LV filling pressure, including measures of left atrial longitudinal strain. Results The PB/ELBW with mean birthweight 945 (standard deviation (SD) 217) grams, mean gestational age 27 (SD 2) weeks, and mean age 27 (SD 6) years had LV systolic function mainly within normal range. Only 6% had EF < 50% or impaired GLS >-16%, but 22% had borderline impaired GLS between − 16% and − 18%. Mean GLS in PB/ELBW (-19.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) -20.0, -18.9)) was impaired compared to controls (-20.6% (95% CI -21.1, -20.1)), p = 0.003. Lower birthweight was associated to more impaired GLS (Pearson correlation coefficient − 0.2). Means of EF, measures of diastolic function including left atrial reservoir strain, global constructive and wasted work, global work index and global work efficiency was similar in PB/ELBW and controls. Conclusion The young adults born very preterm or with extremely low birthweight had impaired LV-GLS compared to controls, although systolic function mainly within normal range. Lower birthweight was associated with more impaired LV-GLS. These findings could indicate an elevated lifetime risk of developing heart failure in preterm born individuals. Measures of diastolic function and myocardial work were similar compared to controls.