The insight that decreases in left ventricular (LV) volume and mass occur secondary to the recovery of the myocardium at the cellular and molecular level has engendered a wider appreciation of the importance of LV remodelling as a mechanism for worsening heart failure. Despite these recent insights into the recognition of the importance of LV reverse remodelling in heart failure, many clinicians do not consider simple measurements of LV structure (i.e. LV volume) in their routine clinical decision-making process, preferring instead to rely on measurements of LV function [e.g. ejection fraction (EF)] when making decisions about medical and surgical treatment options. Although there are probably multiple reasons of why the use of LV volumes has not gained wider acceptance in day-to-day clinical management of heart failure patients, the most likely reason is that clinicians remain extremely comfortable using the LVEF to assess their heart failure patients. Importantly, LV volumes predict outcome more reliably than does the EF. Moreover, knowledge regarding LV volumes is extremely useful in optimizing patient selection for surgical and device therapies. Based on the foregoing arguments, we suggest that it is time to begin developing individualized clinical strategies based upon a consideration of the important role that LV remodelling plays in the pathogenesis of heart failure, and that we begin to incorporate measurements of LV volume and mass into the clinical decision-making process.
- LV remodelling
- ejection fraction