Are changes in left ventricular volume as measured with the biplane Simpson's method predominantly related to changes in its area or long axis in the prognostic evaluation of remodelling following a myocardial infarction?
AIMS: Two-dimensional (2D) echocardiography has been widely applied to measure left ventricular volumes with the biplane Simpson's method in the assessment of left ventricular remodelling following an acute myocardial infarction. This volume formula is based upon tracings of endocardium and measurement of long axis on left ventricular images. In the present follow-up study of post-myocardial infarction patients we evaluated the prognostic impact of changes in left ventricular areas and geometry versus long axis to determine if only long-axis measurements may be used for prognostic purposes. METHODS AND RESULTS: Two-dimensional echocardiographic video recordings of the apical four-chamber and long-axis views were obtained in 756 patients 2--7 days and 3 months following an acute myocardial infarction. All videotapes were sent to a core laboratory and left ventricular volumes were measured with the biplane Simpson's method in end-diastole and end-systole. During the first 3 months 44 patients had suffered one of the following end-points and were excluded: cardiac death, recurrent myocardial infarction, heart failure or chronic arrhythmia. Over a period of 3--24 months 58 such end-points occurred. With the Cox proportional hazards model the increase in left ventricular systolic volume was the strongest predictor for such events (Chi-square 18.5, P