Diagnostic value of echocardiographic markers for diastolic dysfunction and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Elisa Dal Canto, Sharon Remmelzwaal, Adriana Johanne van Ballegooijen, M. Louis Handoko, Stephane Heymans, Vanessa van Empel, Walter J. Paulus, Giel Nijpels, Petra Elders, Joline Wj Beulens

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11 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of echocardiographic markers of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) in comparison with the gold standard of cardiac catheterization. Diagnosing HFpEF is challenging, as symptoms are non-specific and often absent at rest. A clear need exists for sensitive echocardiographic markers to diagnose HFpEF. We systematically searched for studies testing the diagnostic value of novel echocardiographic markers for HFpEF and LVDD. Two investigators independently reviewed the studies and assessed the risk of bias. Results were meta-analysed when four or more studies reported a similar diagnostic measure. Of 353 studies, 20 fulfilled the eligibility criteria. The risk of bias was high especially in the patients’ selection domain. The highest diagnostic performance was demonstrated by a multivariable model combining echocardiographic, clinical and arterial function markers with an area under the curve of 0.95 (95% CI, 0.89–0.98). A meta-analysis of four studies indicated a reasonable diagnostic performance for left atrial strain with an AUC of 0.83 (0.70–0.95), a specificity of 93% (95% CI, 90–97%) and a sensitivity of 77% (95% CI, 59–96%). Moreover, the addition of exercise E/e′ improved the sensitivity of HFpEF diagnostic algorithms up to 90%, compared with 60 and 34% of guidelines alone. Despite the heterogeneity of the included studies, this review supported the current multivariable-based approach for the diagnosis of HFpEF and LVDD and showed a potential diagnostic role for exercise echocardiography and left atrial strain. Larger well-designed studies are needed to evaluate the incremental value of novel diagnostic tools to current diagnostic algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHeart failure reviews
Early online date2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020


  • Diastolic dysfunction
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review

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