Abnormalities in right ventricular function are known to occur in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Test the hypothesis that chronic elevation in pulmonary artery systolic pressure delays mechanical activation of the right ventricle, termed dyssynchrony, and is associated with both symptoms and right ventricular dysfunction.
Fifty-two patients (mean age 46 ± 15 years, 24 patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension) were prospectively evaluated using several echocardiographic parameters to assess right ventricular size and function. In addition, tissue Doppler imaging was also obtained to assess longitudinal strain of the right ventricular wall, interventricular septum, and lateral wall of the left ventricle and examined with regards to right ventricular size and function as well as clinical variables.
In this study, patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension had statistically different right ventricular fractional area change (35 ± 13 percent), right ventricular end-systolic area (21 ± 10 cm2), right ventricular Myocardial Performance Index (0.72 ± 0.34), and Eccentricity Index (1.34 ± 0.37) than individuals without pulmonary hypertension (51 ± 5 percent, 9 ± 2 cm2, 0.27 ± 0.09, and 0.97 ± 0.06, p < 0.005, respectively). Furthermore, peak longitudinal right ventricular wall strain in chronic pulmonary hypertension was also different -20.8 ± 9.0 percent versus -28.0 ± 4.1 percent, p < 0.01). Right ventricular dyssynchrony correlated very well with right ventricular end-systolic area (r = 0.79, p < 0.001) and Eccentricity Index (r = 0.83, p < 0.001). Furthermore, right ventricular dyssynchrony correlates with pulmonary hypertension severity index (p < 0.0001), World Health Organization class (p < 0.0001), and number of hospitalizations (p < 0.0001).
Lower peak longitudinal right ventricular wall strain and significantly delayed time-to-peak strain values, consistent with right ventricular dyssynchrony, were found in a small heterogeneous group of patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension when compared to individuals without pulmonary hypertension. Furthermore, right ventricular dyssynchrony was associated with disease severity and compromised functional class.
Dyssynchrony; right ventricle; outcomes; pulmonary hypertension; strain imaging; tissue Doppler imaging
The degree of pulmonary hypertension is not independently related to the severity of left ventricular systolic dysfunction but is frequently associated with diastolic filling abnormalities. The aim of this study was to assess diastolic times at increasing heart rates in normal and in patients with and without abnormal exercise-induced increase in pulmonary artery pressure (PASP). Methods. We enrolled 109 patients (78 males, age 62 ± 13 years) referred for exercise stress echocardiography and 16 controls. The PASP was derived from the tricuspid Doppler tracing. A cut-off value of PASP ≥ 50 mmHg at peak stress was considered as indicative of abnormal increase in PASP. Diastolic times and the diastolic/systolic time ratio were recorded by a precordial cutaneous force sensor based on a linear accelerometer.
At baseline, PASP was 30 ± 5 mmHg in patients and 25 ± 4 in controls. At peak stress the PASP was normal in 95 patients (Group 1); 14 patients (Group 2) showed an abnormal increase in PASP (from 35 ± 4 to 62 ± 12 mmHg; P < 0.01). At 100 bpm, an abnormal (< 1) diastolic/systolic time ratio was found in 0/16 (0%) controls, in 12/93 (13%) Group 1 and 7/14 (50%) Group 2 patients (p < 0.05 between groups).
The first and second heart sound vibrations non-invasively monitored by a force sensor are useful for continuously assessing diastolic time during exercise. Exercise-induced abnormal PASP was associated with reduced diastolic time at heart rates beyond 100 beats per minute.
Diastolic time; Pulmonary hypertension; Cutaneous heart sensor
We describe a case of a 25-year-old pregnant woman who presented with severe primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). Her echocardiogram showed severe right ventricular hypertrophy with dilatation and Moderate right ventricular systolic dysfunction. Right ventricle systolic pressure (RVSP) was estimated to be 125 mmHg. She had an elective caesarean section under general anaesthesia at 32 weeks of gestation. Pulmonary artery pressures measured by a pulmonary artery catheter before anaesthesia were 102 mmHg and pulmonary vascular resistance was 429. Intraoperative nitric oxide was used to reduce pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP). After the delivery of a healthy infant, PASP was controlled with nebulized iloprost and silandifil. Five days later she was transferred from intensive care unit after she was started on silandifil 50 mg three times daily and a small dose of warfarin.
Primary pulmonary hypertension; Pregnancy; General anaesthesia; Pulmonary vasodilators
Objective—To examine the effects of pulmonary hypertension on left ventricular diastolic function and to relate the findings to possible mechanisms of interdependence between the right and left sides of the heart in ventricular disease.
Design—A retrospective and prospective analysis of echocardiographic and Doppler studies.
Setting—A tertiary referral centre for both cardiac and pulmonary disease.
Patients—29 patients with pulmonary hypertension (12 primary pulmonary hypertension, 10 pulmonary fibrosis, five atrial septal defect (ASD), and two scleroderma) were compared with a control group of 10 patients with an enlarged right ventricle but normal pulmonary artery pressure (six ASD, one after ASD closure, one ASD and pulmonary valvotomy, one tricuspid valve endocarditis and repair, and one pulmonary fibrosis). None had clinical or echocardiographic evidence of intrinsic left ventricular disease.
Main Outcome measures—M mode echocardiographic measurements were made of septal thickness, and left and right ventricular internal cavity dimensions. Doppler derived right ventricular to right atrial pressure drop, and time intervals were measured, as were isovolumic relaxation time, and Doppler left ventricular filling characteristics.
Results—The peak right ventricular to right atrial pressure gradient was (mean (SD)) 60 (16) mm Hg in pulmonary hypertensive patients, and 18 (5) mm Hg in controls. The time intervals P2 to the end of the tricuspid regurgitation, and P2 to the start of tricuspid flow were both prolonged in patients with pulmonary hypertension compared with controls (115 (60) and 120 (40) ν 40 (15) and 45 (10) ms, p values <0·001). Pulmonary hypertensive patients commonly had a dominant A wave on the transmitral Doppler (23/29); however, all the controls had a dominant E wave. Isovolumic relaxation time of the left ventricle was prolonged in pulmonary hypertensive patients compared with controls, measured as both A2 to mitral valve opening (80 (25) ν 50 (15) ms) and as A2 to the start of mitral flow (105 (30) ν 60 (15) ms, p values <0·001). The delay from mitral valve opening to the start of transmitral flow was longer in patients with pulmonary hypertension (30 (15) ms) compared with controls (10 (10) ms, p < 0·001). At the time of mitral opening there was a right ventricular to right atrial gradient of 12 (10) mm Hg in pulmonary hypertensive patients, but this was negligible in controls (0·4 (0·3) mm Hg, p < 0·001).
Conclusions—Prolonged decline of right ventricular tension, the direct result of severe pulmonary hypertension, may appear as prolonged tricuspid regurgitation. It persists until after mitral valve opening on the left side of the heart, where events during isovolumic relaxation are disorganised, and subsequent filling is impaired. These effects are likely to be mediated through the interventricular septum, and this right-left ventricular asynchrony may represent a hitherto unrecognised mode of ventricular interaction.
A 51-year-old female undergoing an outpatient stress echocardiogram to evaluate atypical chest pain developed acute ST elevation in the anterior precordial leads on electrocardiogram following exercise. Echocardiography revealed a severe rise in pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) with marked right ventricular (RV) enlargement and interventricular septum flattening. Subsequently, cardiac catherization confirmed an exercise-induced elevation in PASP and diagnosed pulmonary arterial hypertension without evidence of coronary artery disease. This case suggests that an acute elevation in pulmonary artery pressure with RV dilation may be a potential cause of acute ST elevation during stress testing.
Interventricular mechanical dyssynchrony is a characteristic of pulmonary hypertension. We studied the role of right ventricular (RV) wall stress in the recovery of interventricular dyssynchrony, after pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH).
In 13 consecutive patients with CTEPH, before and 6 months after pulmonary endarterectomy, cardiovascular magnetic resonance myocardial tagging was applied. For the left ventricular (LV) and RV free walls, the time to peak (Tpeak) of circumferential shortening (strain) was calculated. Pulmonary Artery Pressure (PAP) was measured by right heart catheterization within 48 hours of PEA. Then the RV free wall systolic wall stress was calculated by the Laplace law.
After PEA, the left to right free wall delay (L-R delay) in Tpeak strain decreased from 97 ± 49 ms to -4 ± 51 ms (P < 0.001), which was not different from normal reference values of -35 ± 10 ms (P = 0.18). The RV wall stress decreased significantly from 15.2 ± 6.4 kPa to 5.7 ± 3.4 kPa (P < 0.001), which was not different from normal reference values of 5.3 ± 1.39 kPa (P = 0.78). The reduction of L-R delay in Tpeak was more strongly associated with the reduction in RV wall stress (r = 0.69,P = 0.007) than with the reduction in systolic PAP (r = 0.53, P = 0.07). The reduction of L-R delay in Tpeak was not associated with estimates of the reduction in RV radius (r = 0.37,P = 0.21) or increase in RV systolic wall thickness (r = 0.19,P = 0.53).
After PEA for CTEPH, the RV and LV peak strains are resynchronized. The reduction in systolic RV wall stress plays a key role in this resynchronization.
Chronic Thrombo-Embolic Pulmonary Hypertension; Pulmonary Endarterectomy; interventricular mechanical asynchrony; myocardial strain; wall stress
Complete atrioventricular canal (CAVC), also referred to as complete atrioventricular septal defect, is characterised by an ostium primum atrial septal defect, a common atrioventricular valve and a variable deficiency of the ventricular septum inflow. CAVC is an uncommon congenital heart disease, accounting for about 3% of cardiac malformations. Atrioventricular canal occurs in two out of every 10,000 live births. Both sexes are equally affected and a striking association with Down syndrome was found. Depending on the morphology of the superior leaflet of the common atrioventricular valve, 3 types of CAVC have been delineated (type A, B and C, according to Rastelli's classification). CAVC results in a significant interatrial and interventricular systemic-to-pulmonary shunt, thus inducing right ventricular pressure and volume overload and pulmonary hypertension. It becomes symptomatic in infancy due to congestive heart failure and failure to thrive. Diagnosis of CAVC might be suspected from electrocardiographic and chest X-ray findings. Echocardiography confirms it and gives anatomical details. Over time, pulmonary hypertension becomes irreversible, thus precluding the surgical therapy. This is the reason why cardiac catheterisation is not mandatory in infants (less than 6 months) but is indicated in older patients if irreversible pulmonary hypertension is suspected. Medical treatment (digitalis, diuretics, vasodilators) plays a role only as a bridge toward surgery, usually performed between the 3rd and 6th month of life.
Pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) is known to regress after successful balloon mitral valvotomy (BMV). Data of persistent pulmonary artery hypertension (PPAH) following BMV is scarce. We analyzed the clinical, echocardiographic, and hemodynamic data of 701 consecutive patients who have undergone successful BMV in our institute from 1997 to 2003. Data of 287 patients who had PPAH (defined by pulmonary artery systolic pressure [PASP] of ≥ 40 mmHg at one year following BMV) were compared to the data of 414 patients who did not have PPAH. Patients who had PPAH were older (39.9 ± 9.9 years vs. 29.4 ± 10.1; P < 0.001). They had higher prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF; 21.9 vs. 12.1%, P < 0.05), moderate or severe pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH) defined as PASP more than 50 mmHg (43.5 vs. 33.8%, P = 0.00), anatomically advanced mitral valve disease as assessed by Wilkin's echocardiographic score > 8 (33.7 vs. 23.2%, P < 0.001), and coexistent aortic valve disease (45.6 vs. 37.9%, P < 0.001) at the baseline. Those patients with PPAH had comparatively lower immediate postprocedural mitral valve area (MVA). On follow-up of more than five years, the occurrence of restenosis (39.3 vs. 10.1%, P = 0.000), new onset heart failure (14% vs. 4%, P < 0.05) and need for reinterventions (9.5% vs. 2.8%, P < 0.05) were higher in the PPAH group. Patients with PPAH were older, sicker, and had advanced rheumatic mitral valve disease. They had higher incidence of restenosis, new onset heart failure, and need for reinterventions on long term follow-up. PPAH represents an advanced stage of rheumatic valve disease and indicates chronicity of the disease, which may be the reason for the poorer prognosis of these patients. Patients with PPAH requires intense and more frequent follow-up.
rheumatic heart disease; balloon mitral valvotomy; pulmonary artery hypertension; regression
In contrast to the wealth of data on isolated systolic hypertension involving the systemic circulation in the elderly, much less is known about age-related change in pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) and its prognostic impact in the general population. We sought to define the relationship between PASP and age, evaluate which factors influence PASP and determine if PASP is independently predictive of mortality in the community.
Methods and Results
A random sample of Olmsted County, MN general population (N=2042) underwent echocardiography and spirometry and was followed for a median of 9 years. PASP was measured from the tricuspid regurgitation velocity. Left ventricular diastolic pressure was estimated using Doppler echocardiography (E/e' ratio) and arterial stiffening was assessed using the brachial artery pulse pressure. Among 1413 (69%) subjects with measurable PASP (63±11y; 43% male), PASP (median, 25th-75th percentile) was 26 (24-30) mmHg and increased with age (r=0.31; p<0.001). Independent predictors of PASP were age, pulse pressure and mitral E/e' (all p≤0.003). Increasing PASP was associated with higher mortality (hazard ratio 2.73 per 10 mmHg; p<0.001). In subjects without cardiopulmonary disease (any heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus or chronic obstructive lung disease), the age-adjusted hazard ratio was 2.74 per 10 mmHg (p=0.016).
We provide the first population-based evidence of age-related increase in pulmonary artery pressure, its association with increasing left heart diastolic pressures and systemic vascular stiffening, as well as its negative impact on survival. Pulmonary artery pressure may serve as a novel cardiovascular risk factor and potential therapeutic target.
hypertension; pulmonary; population; aging; vasculature
Ten patients with constrictive pericarditis were studied echocardiographically with specific reference to inter-ventricular septal dynamics. Abnormal movement of the interventricular septum was present in 8 patients and consisted of flattening in systole and unusual posterior motion in diastole. The aetiology of this type of movement is at present unknown but may be related to restriction of normal cardiac rotational dynamics. The interventricular septum also showed diminished degree of thickening (mean 21-2%). The amplitude of excursion was generally at the upper limit of or greater than normal. Left ventricular posterior wall amplitude of excursion was normal. Flattening of left ventricular posterior wall diastolic movement was seen in 4 patients. Right ventricular end-diastolic dimension was slightly increased (1-2 to 1-7 cm/m2) in 5 of 8 patients with abnormal septal motion, but no haemodynamic evidence of diastolic volume overload was found. Posterior pericardial thickening was noted echocardiographically when posterior calcification was present. We conclude that the most common though non-specific feature of the echocardiogram in patients with constrictive pericarditis is abnormal septal motion. Flattening of left ventricular posterior wall diastolic movement, posterior pericardial thickening, and epicardial-pericardial separation may also occur.
Abnormal systolic interventricular septal motion is an echocardiographic manifestation of right ventricular volume overload. In order to determine the anatomical basis for this echocardiographic finding, septal motion recorded by left lateral or left anterior oblique ventriculograms was compared with echocardiography ventricular septal motion. Thirteen patients with secundum atrial septal defects and 7 control patients with trivial or no heart disease were included in the study. We found that on ventriculograms the systolic motion of the interventricular septum was similar in both atrial septal defect and control patients. That is, the cephalic third of the septum moved anteriorly in systole in 9 of the 13 patients with atrial septal defect and in 3 of the 7 controls. The caudal two-thirds of the septum moved posteriorly in all patients. These results are compatible with the theory that argues that the echocardiographic abnormalities of septal motion in patients with atrial septal defect result from an end-diastolic septal flattening or bowing of the septum into the cavity of the left ventricle.
The roles of posterior bulging of the interventricular septum (septal bulge) and of systolic septal mitral apposition in patients with simple transposition of the great arteries are not known. Cross sectional echocardiograms of 40 such patients were reviewed (after exclusion of those with fixed left ventricular outflow tract obstruction) and haemodynamic findings were compared with long and short axis measurements within the left ventricle. There was no significant correlation between the degree of septal bulge and systolic gradient across the left ventricular outflow tract, but septal bulge correlated weakly with systolic right ventricular pressure and inversely with pulmonary arteriolar resistance index. Systolic left ventricular outflow gradient was inversely related to the minimum systolic distance between the anterior mitral leaflet and interventricular septum. No patients without complete systolic apposition of the anterior mitral leaflet and interventricular septum had a left ventricular outflow gradient greater than 20 mm Hg. Conversely, even when cross sectional echocardiography showed apparently total obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract at some time in systole there was often no significant gradient detected during haemodynamic study. In the short axis cuts closeness of the papillary muscles to the interventricular septum or to each other was unrelated to systolic gradient. This study shows that (a) cross sectional echocardiography can identify fixed obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract in simple transposition of the great arteries; (b) the degree of septal bulge, unless complicated by fibrous thickening of the anterior mitral leaflet and interventricular septum, is unrelated to the gradient across the left ventricular outflow tract; (c) the absence of systolic septal/mitral apposition excludes a significant gradient at that site across the left ventricular outflow tract; and (d) papillary muscle geometry is unrelated to dynamic gradients across the left ventricular outflow in this condition.
To determine relationship of echocardiographic measures of pulmonary hypertension to lung function and inflammatory biomarkers in HIV-infected individuals.
Cross-sectional study of 116 HIV-infected outpatients.
Doppler-echocardiography and pulmonary function testing were performed. Induced sputum and plasma cytokines, sputum cell counts and differentials, markers of peripheral T cell activation, and serum N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) were measured. Univariate and multivariate analyses determined relationship of echocardiographic variables to pulmonary function, inflammation, and NT-proBNP.
Mean estimated pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) was 34.3 mmHg (SD 6.9) and mean tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (TRV) was 2.5 m/sec (SD 0.32). Eighteen participants (15.5%) had PASP of at least 40 mmHg, and 9 (7.8%) had TRV of at least 3.0 m/sec. Elevated TRV was significantly associated with CD4 cell counts below 200 cells/μl and higher log HIV RNA levels. Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) percent predicted, FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC), and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLco) percent predicted were significantly lower in those with elevated PASP or TRV. Sputum interleukin-8, peripheral interleukin-8, peripheral interferon-γ levels, and CD8+ T-cell expression of CD69+ were associated increased with increasing PASP and TRV. Log NT-proBNP was significantly higher with increasing PASP and TRV. Left ventricular function was not associated with PASP or TRV.
Echocardiographic manifestations of pulmonary hypertension are common in HIV and are associated with respiratory symptoms, more advanced HIV disease, airway obstruction, abnormal DLco, and systemic and pulmonary inflammation. Pulmonary hypertension and COPD coexist in HIV and may arise secondary to common inflammatory mechanisms.
HIV; pulmonary hypertension; emphysema; COPD; inflammation
To determine among community patients with heart failure (HF), whether pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) assessed by Doppler echocardiography was associated with death and improved risk prediction over established factors, using the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) and net reclassification improvement (NRI).
While several studies have focused on idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, less is known about pulmonary hypertension among patients with HF, particularly on its prognostic value in the community.
Olmsted County residents with HF between 2003 and 2010 prospectively underwent assessment of ejection fraction (EF), diastolic function, and PASP by Doppler echocardiography.
PASP was recorded in 1049 of 1153 patients (mean age 76±13, 51% women). Median PASP was 48 mmHg (25th-75th percentile, 37.0-58.0). There were 489 deaths after a follow-up of 2.7±1.9 years. There was a strong positive graded association between PASP and mortality. Increasing PASP was associated with an increased risk of death (HR 1.45, 95%CI 1.13-1.85 for tertile 2; HR 2.07, 95%CI 1.62-2.64 for tertile 3, versus tertile 1), independently of age, sex, comorbidities, EF and diastolic function. Adding PASP to models including these clinical characteristics resulted in an increase in the c-statistic from 0.704 to 0.742 (p=0.007), an IDI gain of 4.2% (p<0.001), and an NRI of 14.1% (p=0.002), indicating that PASP improved prediction of death over traditional prognostic factors. All results were similar for CV death.
Among community patients with HF, PASP strongly predicts death and provides incremental and clinically relevant prognostic information independently of known predictors of outcomes.
heart failure; pulmonary hypertension; mortality; community
Many patients with congenital heart disease now undergo cardiac surgery based solely on clinical and echocardiographic findings, but those with intracardiac shunts still frequently require cardiac catheterisation because there is no reliable non-invasive method of measuring the pulmonary artery pressure. Blinded to the haemodynamic results two independent observers retrospectively studied the cross sectional echocardiograms of 59 patients with uncomplicated ventricular septal defect to assess whether diastolic backward bowing of the pulmonary valve leaflets towards the right ventricular outflow tract (pulmonary valve prolapse) was associated with pulmonary hypertension. There was considerable interobserver variation in the diagnosis of pulmonary valve prolapse, but concordance was achieved in 27 cases. Mean pulmonary artery systolic and mean and diastolic pressures and the ratios of aortic to pulmonary artery mean pressures were all significantly higher for the group with pulmonary valve prolapse diagnosed by both observers than for the group without, thus showing an association between pulmonary valve prolapse and pulmonary hypertension. Further studies are warranted to determine the usefulness of this cross sectional echocardiographic sign in routine clinical practice.
Altered septal curvature and left ventricular (LV) geometry secondary to right ventricular (RV) dilation render two-dimensional assessment of LV mechanics difficult in repaired tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) patients. The novel three-dimensional (3D) speckle tracking echocardiography enables comprehensive evaluation of true 3D LV mechanics.
Methods and Results
Seventy-six patients aged 23.6±8.3 years, 55 with isolated repair (group I) and 21 with subsequent pulmonary valve replacement (group II), and 34 healthy controls were studied. Three-dimensional volume datasets were acquired for assessment of LV global and regional 3D strain, systolic dyssynchrony index (SDI), twist, twist gradient (twist/LV length), and ejection fraction. A global performance index was calculated as (global 3D strain•twist gradient)/SDI. The septal curvature and LV eccentricity were determined from the mid-ventricular short-axis. Compared with controls, group I and II patients had significantly reduced LV global 3D strain, LV twist, twist gradient, septal curvature, and global performance index, and greater LV systolic and diastolic eccentricity and SDI (all p<0.05). All but the four apical LV segments in patients had reduced regional 3D strain compared with controls (all p<0.05). Septal curvature correlated with LV global 3D strain (r = 0.41, p<0.001), average septal strain (r = 0.38, p<0.001), twist (r = 0.32, p<0.001), twist gradient (r = 0.33, p<0.001), and global performance index (r = 0.43, p<0.001).
Adverse 3D LV mechanics as characterized by impaired global and regional 3D systolic strain, mechanical dyssynchrony, and reduced twist is related to reduced septal curvature in repaired TOF patients with and without pulmonary valve replacement.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the accuracy of quantitative three dimensional echocardiography in patients with deformed left ventricles. DESIGN: Three dimensional and cross sectional echocardiographic estimates of left ventricular volume and ejection fraction were prospectively compared to those obtained from magnetic resonance imaging. SETTING: Echocardiography laboratory of a university hospital. PATIENTS: 26 patients (9 months to 42 years, median age 11 years) with pulmonary hypertension and fixed reversal of normal interventricular septal curvature. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Left ventricular end diastolic and end systolic volumes and ejection fraction. RESULTS: Three dimensional echocardiographic comparison to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) yielded r values of 0.94 and 0.87 with a bias of -6.9 (SD 6.9) ml and -16 (11.2) ml for systolic and diastolic volumes respectively. Inter-observer variability was minimal (8.3% and 7.6% respectively). Cross sectional echocardiography gave correlation coefficients of 0.62 and 0.80 and bias of 3.1 (14.1) ml and 16.3 (18.3) ml for systolic and diastolic volumes respectively. Ejection fraction by three dimensional echocardiography also had closer agreement with MRI (bias = 1.1 (7.7)%) than cross sectional echocardiography (bias = 4.4 (13.9)%). CONCLUSIONS: Three dimensional echocardiography provides reliable estimates of left ventricular volumes and ejection fraction, comparable to magnetic resonance imaging in pulmonary hypertension patients with compressed ventricular geometry. Because it eliminates the need for geometric assumptions it shows closer agreement with magnetic resonance imaging in that setting than cross sectional echocardiography.
Background and objectives
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic, inherited haemoglobin disorder, associated with recurrent vaso-occlusive and haemolytic crises and chronic tissue ischemia which may adversely affect any organ system. Our objectives were to evaluate the left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic functions in Saudi patients with SCD originally from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
Design and setting
Prospective hospital based echocardiography study on adolescent and adult patients with SCD.
Forty-five patients with SCD were recruited for echocardiographic study while 45 patients, matched for age and sex, served as controls. Left and right ventricular dimensions and LV wall thicknesses, LV mass index (LVMI) and LV contractility variables were obtained. Left atrial dimension and volume and pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) were also estimated. We also evaluated parameters of LV diastolic function, including early and late mitral flow velocities (E and A wave respectively), E/A ratio, deceleration time (MVDT), A wave duration (MVA D), LV isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT), and tissue Doppler velocities, such as lateral annular e‘ wave, a‘ wave, e‘/a‘ ratio and E/e‘ ratio.
There were increases in the LV dimensions, LV volumes, stroke volume, and LVMI of the SCD patients. The preload was increased (LV diastolic volume) and afterload was decreased (low diastolic blood pressure). The LVEF was equivalent, though there was evidence of LV diastolic dysfunction in 24%, and pulmonary hypertension (PH) in 40% of the SCD patients. The mean left atrial volume (LAV) was also increased in the SCD patients.
LV diastolic dysfunction (heart failure with preserved ejection fraction) and PH may complicate cases of the Arab-Indian haplotype of SCD.
MVE vel, mitral valve flow E wave velocity (cm. sec); MVA vel, mitral valve flow A wave velocity (cm. sec); E/A, E wave/A wave ratio; MVDT, mitral valve deceleration time (ms); MVAD, mitral valve A wave duration (ms); TDI, tissue doppler imaging; Lat e‘, lateral annular e‘ wave velocity by TDI (cm. sec); Lat a‘, lateral annular a‘ wave velocity by TDI (cm. sec); e‘/a‘, e‘ wave/a‘ wave ratio; E/e‘, mitral flow E wave velocity/lateral annular e‘ wave velocity by TDI; Sickle cell disease; Left ventricular diastolic function; Left ventricular systolic function; Tissue doppler imaging
The role of transforming growth factor-β in the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension is unclear. We examined the effects of T9429, an antibody against transforming growth factor-β receptors, on hemodynamic, histological and functional parameters in the rat model of monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension. One week after monocrotaline injection (60 mg/kg) in 28 Wistar rats, T9429 (0.1mg/kg daily) was administered intraperito-neally in 19 rats (268±10g) via an osmotic mini-pump for 7 days. One week thereafter, right ventricular systolic pressure, pulmonary vascular remodeling and exercise tolerance were evaluated. Compared to the monocrotaline group (25.5±1.9mmHg), right ventricular systolic pressure was lower (p=0.0014) in the monocrotaline+antibody group (18.4±0.8mmHg). This was translated into attenuated right ventricular hypertrophy (p=0.0063) and longer (p=0.0155) exercise duration (2.08±0.29min versus 6.19±1.02min). Pulmonary arterial wall thickness (in vessels 50 −200μm) was comparable between the two groups, but the monocrotaline+antibody group displayed lower number (p<0.0001) of pre-capillary arterioles (<50μm, in 20 randomly selected fields) with a muscularized media (23.33±3.15 versus 6.64±0.75). Our results suggest that transforming growth factor-β receptor blockade improves vascular remodeling and attenuates pulmonary hypertension, a finding with potential therapeutic implications.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension; transforming growth factor-β; pulmonary vascular remodeling; exercise tolerance
The non-invasive estimation of pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) has become a standard component of echocardiographic examination. Our aim was to evaluate the accuracy of this modality in a large series of unselected studies obtained in clinical practice. All right heart catheterizations (RHC) over a 4 year period were reviewed. Studies with echocardiography available within 48 hours were evaluated for agreement of PASP. In an effort to mirror clinical practice, RHC was used as the gold standard and values for PASP were taken directly from their respective clinical reports. Overall, 792 RHC-echocardiogram pairs were identified. Echocardiographic PASP could not be estimated in 174 of these studies (22.0%). Correlation between modalities was moderate, but agreement was poor (r=0.52, p<0.001, bias 9.0%, 95% limits of agreement −53.2% to 71.2%). Misclassification of clinical PASP categories occurred more often than not (54.4%). Multivariate analysis utilizing multiple potential sources of error could only account for 3.2% of the total variation in discrepancy between study modalities (p=0.003). In conclusion, non-invasively estimated pulmonary artery systolic pressure had limited agreement with invasively determined pressure and misclassification of PASP clinical categories occurred in the majority of cases. Given the widespread use of echocardiographically determined PASP these data are in need of replication in a large prospective study.
Non-invasive pulmonary artery systolic pressure; Echocardiographic pulmonary artery systolic pressure
A right heart catheterization with reversibility testing is recommended for the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. In this 24 years-old woman, the inhalation of 5 μg iloprost transiently decreased mean pulmonary artery pressure from 62 to 36 mmHg and pulmonary vascular resistance from 11.0 to 4.9 Wood units, meeting the criteria of a "positive response". The echocardiographic examination showed normalization of right heart chamber dimensions and of the right ventricular performance (Tei) index. Pulsed tissue Doppler imaging of the right ventricle showed a decrease in the isovolumic relaxation time from 102 to 73 ms, and an increase of the E/A ratio from 0.72 to 1.38, together with marked improvements in mid-apical free wall systolic strain and strain rate. A positive response to reversibility testing of pulmonary arterial hypertension may be associated with quasi normalization of right ventricular function, in spite of still elevated pulmonary artery pressure.
Decreased levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) or excess levels of their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) may contribute to dysregulation of extracellular matrix turnover in systemic sclerosis (SSc). In a cross-sectional study of 106 SSc patients, we measured serum levels of TIMP-4 which is preferentially expressed in cardiovascular structures and searched for correlations with simultaneously performed echocardiography measurements of pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP), myocardial performance, and pulmonary function tests. TIMP-4, but not MMP-9, levels were significantly raised in patients with SSc than controls. However, in the subgroup of patients with PASP measurements lower to 40 mmHg (n = 69), TIMP-4 levels were comparable to controls irrespective of the presence of diffuse or limited skin involvement, or lung fibrosis. Individual PASP measurements suggestive of pulmonary hypertension were associated with increased TIMP-4 serum levels (P = .03), independently of age, extent of skin sclerosis, or lung fibrosis, suggesting a cardiopulmonary vasculature-specific role of TIMP-4 activation in SSc.
Pulmonary vein stenosis is a rare cause of pulmonary hypertension, with variable onset and presentation. One or more of the four pulmonary veins can be primarily or secondarily affected. A five-month-old girl presented with respiratory distress, lethargy and cyanosis requiring intubation.
Echocardiography showed right ventricular dilation, a right ventricular systolic pressure of 97 mmHg, decreased ejection fraction and turbulent flow at the left atrium. Cardiac catheterization revealed stenosis of the left-sided pulmonary veins, for which she underwent a Coles procedure.
Postoperatively, there was a transient improvement in the patient’s pulmonary hypertension but she subsequently deteriorated. Her prognosis was considered bleak, and a decision was made with the family to withdraw care.
Pulmonary vein stenosis is a rare cause of pulmonary hypertension, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Surgical intervention may be of benefit in selected cases. It stands to reason that any treatment will have the best chance of success if completed before the pulmonary hypertension becomes fixed. Early diagnosis depends on a high index of clinical suspicion.
Coles procedure; Pulmonary hypertension; Pulmonary vein stenosis
The purpose of this study was to assess predictors of MRI-identified septal delayed enhancement mass at the right ventricular (RV) insertion sites in relation to RV remodeling, altered regional mechanics, and pulmonary hemodynamics in patients with suspected pulmonary hypertension (PH).
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
Thirty-eight patients with suspected PH were evaluated with right heart catheterization and cardiac MRI. Ten age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers acted as controls for MRI comparison. Septal delayed enhancement mass was quantified at the RV insertions. Systolic septal eccentricity index, global RV function, and remodeling indexes were quantified with cine images. Peak systolic circumferential and longitudinal strain at the sites corresponding to delayed enhancement were measured with conventional tagging and fast strain-encoded MRI acquisition, respectively.
PH was diagnosed in 32 patients. Delayed enhancement was found in 31 of 32 patients with PH and in one of six patients in whom PH was suspected but proved absent (p = 0.001). No delayed enhancement was found in controls. Delayed enhancement mass correlated with pulmonary hemodynamics, reduced RV function, increased RV remodeling indexes, and reduced eccentricity index. Multiple linear regression analysis showed RV mass index was an independent predictor of total delayed enhancement mass (p = 0.017). Regional analysis showed delayed enhancement mass was associated with reduced longitudinal strain at the basal anterior septal insertion (r = 0.6, p < 0.01). Regression analysis showed that basal longitudinal strain remained an independent predictor of delayed enhancement mass at the basal anterior septal insertion (p = 0.02).
In PH, total delayed enhancement burden at the RV septal insertions is predicted by RV remodeling in response to increased afterload. Local fibrosis mass at the anterior septal insertion is associated with reduced regional longitudinal contractility at the base.
delayed enhancement; fast strain-encoded imaging; MRI; pulmonary hypertension; tagging
Hypertension is an important cardiovascular risk factor worldwide. It is associated with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). Both diastolic and systolic dysfunction may occur in hypertensive heart disease. The ventricles are structurally and functionally interdependent on each other. This was an echocardiographic study intended to describe the impact of left ventricular pressure overload and hypertrophy due to hypertension on right ventricular morphology and function.
One hundred subjects with systemic hypertension and 50 age- and gender-matched normotensive control subjects were used for this study. Two-dimensional (2-D), M-mode and Doppler echocardiographic studies were done to evaluate the structure and function of both ventricles. Data analysis was done using the SPSS 16.0 (Chicago, Ill). Statistical significance was taken as p < 0.05.
Age and gender were comparable between the two groups. Hypertensive subjects had significantly increased left ventricular end-diastolic dimensions, posterior wall thickness, interventricular septal thickness, left atrial dimensions and left ventricular mass and index. The mitral valve E/A ratio was reduced among hypertensive subjects when compared to normal controls (1.15 ± 0.75 vs 1.44 ± 0.31, respectively; p < 0.05). A similar pattern was found in the tricuspid E/A ratio (1.14 ± 0.36 vs 1.29 ± 0.30, respectively; p < 0.05). Hypertensive subjects also had reduced right ventricular internal dimensions (20.7 ± 8.0 vs 23.1 ± 3.1 mm, respectively; p < 0.001) but similar peak pulmonary systolic velocity. The mitral e/a ratio correlated well with the tricuspid e/a ratio.
Systemic hypertension is associated with right ventricular morphological and functional abnormalities. Right ventricular diastolic dysfunction may be an early clue to hypertensive heart disease.
hypertension; right ventricular function; echocardiography; systolic dysfunction; diastolic dysfunction