Background: Abnormalities in right ventricular function are known to occur in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Objective: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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). Conclusion: 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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine