Introduction: The frequency, causes and prognostic implications of pulmonary hypertension (PHT) in patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) are not well defined. The objectives of this study were to determine the frequency of PHT [pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) >50 mm Hg] in patients with severe AS, identify the factors associated with PHT and assess the relationship between PHT and clinical outcome.
Methods: Patients with severe AS (aortic valve area ≤1.0 cm) and an echocardiographic estimate of PASP were identified by using the institutional echocardiography laboratory database. Patients with atrial fibrillation, mitral valve stenosis or a mitral prosthesis were excluded from analysis. The associations between clinical and echocardiographic parameters and PHT and the relationship between PHT and outcome were examined.
Results: During the study period, 216 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria (age: 75 ± 11 years; 43% men), and PHT was present in 64 patients (29.6%). By multivariate analysis, reduced left ventricular (LV) systolic function (LV ejection fraction ≤45% and lower stroke volume) and impaired LV diastolic function (mitral inflow E/A ratio ≥1.5 and greater left atrium size) were independent predictors of PHT. Mortality was higher among patients with PHT managed medically (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-3.30; P = 0.011), whereas patients with PHT who underwent aortic valve replacement had an excellent outcome.
Conclusions: PHT is common in patients with AS and is related to the severity of LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction. PHT is associated with poorer outcome in medically treated patients.