Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Rovai D., Morales M. A., Di Bella G., De Nes M., Pingitore A., Lombardi M., Rossi G. Clinical diagnosis of left ventricular dilatation and dysfunction in the age of technology. In: European Journal of Heart Failure, vol. 9 (6-7) pp. 723 - 729. Elsevier B.V, 2007.
BACKGROUND: The diagnostic process has become increasingly dependent on instrumental and laboratory investigation. AIM: To evaluate the accuracy of symptoms and signs in identifying left ventricular (LV) dilatation and/or systolic dysfunction. METHODS: A group of 100 patients in stable clinical condition and scheduled for cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was prospectively examined by two cardiologists, who were unaware of the individual patient's condition. Patients were interviewed and underwent physical examination. RESULTS: Several symptoms and signs were associated with LV dilatation and systolic dysfunction at univariate analysis. Using multiple logistic regression, a mitral systolic murmur, a laterally displaced LV impulse, orthopnoea and hepatomegaly were all independent predictors of LV dilatation (end-diastolic volume >or=110 ml/m(2)) (p<0.0001) and LV dysfunction (ejection fraction <45%) (p<0.0001). The combination of the above variables correctly identified 79% of patients with LV dilatation (sensitivity 51%, specificity 92%), and 82% of patients with LV dysfunction (sensitivity 68%, specificity 90%). Considering LV dilatation and dysfunction, 77% of patients were correctly identified after history alone (kappa=0.13), 84% after LV impulse examination (kappa=0.55) and 86% after cardiac auscultation (kappa=0.58). CONCLUSION: Symptoms and signs predict LV dilatation and/or dysfunction with fair sensitivity and excellent specificity.
Subject left ventricular dilatation and dysfunction

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