A simple method for noninvasive estimation of pulmonary vascular resistance

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 Mar 19;41(6):1021-7. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(02)02973-x.


Objectives: We sought to test whether the ratio of peak tricuspid regurgitant velocity (TRV, ms) to the right ventricular outflow tract time-velocity integral (TVI(RVOT), cm) obtained by Doppler echocardiography (TRV/TVI(RVOT)) provides a clinically reliable method to determine pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR).

Background: Pulmonary vascular resistance is an important hemodynamic variable used in the management of patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. Right-heart catheterization, with its associated disadvantages, is required to determine PVR. However, a reliable noninvasive method is unavailable.

Methods: Simultaneous Doppler echocardiographic examination and right-heart catheterization were performed in 44 patients. The ratio of TRV/TVI(RVOT) was then correlated with invasive PVR measurements using regression analysis. An equation was modeled to calculate PVR in Wood units (WU) using echocardiography, and the results were compared with invasive PVR measurements using the Bland-Altman analysis. Using receiver-operating characteristics curve analysis, a cutoff value for the Doppler equation was generated to determine PVR >2WU.

Results: As calculated by Doppler echocardiography, TRV/TVI(RVOT) correlated well (r = 0.929, 95% confidence interval 0.87 to 0.96) with invasive PVR measurements. The Bland-Altman analysis between PVR obtained invasively and that by echocardiography, using the equation: PVR = TRV/TVI(RVOT) x 10 + 0.16, showed satisfactory limits of agreement (mean 0 +/- 0.41). A TRV/TVI(RVOT) cutoff value of 0.175 had a sensitivity of 77% and a specificity of 81% to determine PVR >2WU.

Conclusions: Doppler echocardiography may provide a reliable, noninvasive method to determine PVR.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler*
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Tricuspid Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Tricuspid Valve / physiopathology
  • Vascular Resistance / physiology*