Right ventricular systolic pressure by echocardiography as a predictor of pulmonary hypertension in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Respir Med. 2008 Sep;102(9):1305-10. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2008.03.022. Epub 2008 Jul 10.


Rationale: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) commonly complicates the course of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). It has a significant impact on outcomes and is, therefore, important to detect.

Objectives: We sought to characterize the accuracy and performance characteristics of the right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) as estimated by echocardiography (ECHO) alone and in conjunction with physiologic indices in predicting the presence of PH in IPF patients.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of IPF patients from two large tertiary centers in whom both ECHO and right-heart catheterization (RHC) were available.

Measurements and main results: There were 110 patients with available ECHOs and RHCs. Estimates of RVSP were reported in 60 of these patients (54.5%) of whom 22 (36.6%) had PH, while 16 of the 50 patients without RVSP estimate (32%) had PH. Twenty-four of 60 (40%) ECHOs accurately reflected the pulmonary arterial systolic pressure as measured by RHC. An optimal RVSP threshold for the screening of PH could not be detected. When assessed in combination with various thresholds of PFT and 6-minute walk test (6MWT) parameters, the performance characteristics of the RVSP were slightly improved.

Conclusion: The RVSP is not an accurate test for the assessment of PH in IPF patients. Awareness of the various combinations of threshold values for RVSP with and without PFT and 6MWT might nonetheless assist clinicians in risk stratifying IPF patients for the presence of PH.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Systole
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ventricular Pressure