Background: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is an emerging modality in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Derivation of stroke volume (SV) from the pulmonary flow curves is considered as a standard in this respect. Our aim was to investigate the accuracy of pulmonary artery (PA) flow for measuring SV.
Methods: Thirty-four PAH patients underwent both CMR and right-sided heart catheterisation. CMR-derived SV was measured by PA flow, left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) volumes, and, in a subset of nine patients also by aortic flow. These SV values were compared to the SV obtained by invasive Fick method.
Results: For SV by PA flow versus Fick, r = 0.71, mean difference was -4.2 ml with limits of agreement 26.8 and -18.3 ml. For SV by LV volumes versus Fick, r = 0.95, mean difference was -0.8 ml with limits of agreement of 8.7 and -10.4 ml. For SV by RV volumes versus Fick, r = 0.73, mean difference -0.75 ml with limits of agreement 21.8 and -23.3 ml. In the subset of nine patients, SV by aorta flow versus Fick yielded r = 0.95, while in this subset SV by pulmonary flow versus Fick yielded r = 0.76. For all regression analyses, p < 0.0001.
Conclusion: In conclusion, SV from PA flow has limited accuracy in PAH patients. LV volumes and aorta flow are to be preferred for the measurement of SV.