Introduction: A tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) reflects longitudinal myocardial shortening and represents an echocardiographic parameter to assess right ventricular systolic function.
Aim: To determine relationship between TAPSE and gestational age and body weight in neonates, establishing method for prediction the normal TAPSE values in neonates based on gestational age and body weight.
Patients and methods: The prospective study group consisted of 97 neonates from 24 to 40 weeks of gestation, with a weight of 625-4,340 g and normal echocardiographic results with determination of TAPSE based on gestational age and body weight.
Results: The TAPSE range was 6.45-9.80 mm (with average value 8.07 ± 1.89 mm) in male and 6.95-8.50 mm (with average value 7.9 ± 1.86 mm) in female babies, depending on gestational age. There was no statistically significant difference of normal TAPSE values between female and male patients (p = 0.586). TAPSE is affected by increasing birth weight and increasing gestational age. The TAPSE values have had strong and positive correlation with gestational age (p = 0.0001, rho = 0.692) as well with body weight (p = 0.0001, rho = 0.786). Regression equation relating body weight and TAPSE is: TAPSE predicted = 4.738 + (body weight * 0.002); equation relating gestational age and TAPSE is: TAPSE predicted = -4.163 + (gestational weeks * 0.385).
Conclusions: It is possible to adequately predict TAPSE based on gestational age. As TAPSE is easy to measure and highly reproducible, we consider it a useful quantitative parameter to assess right ventricular longitudinal function in premature baby.