Echocardiographic evaluation of ventricular function in children with pulmonary hypertension

Pediatr Cardiol. 2014 Jun;35(5):759-66. doi: 10.1007/s00246-013-0849-3. Epub 2013 Dec 27.


Although described in adults, it remains unclear whether ventricular dysfunction exists in pediatric patients with pulmonary hypertension (PHN). The goal of this study was to identify differences in echocardiographic indices of ventricular function among pediatric PHN patients. From 2009 to 2011, pediatric PHN patients with normal intracardiac anatomy and age-matched controls (1:3 ratio) were enrolled in this retrospective case-control study. Diagnosis of PHN was based on tricuspid regurgitation velocity or septal position estimating right-ventricular (RV) pressure >50 % systemic. Measures of RV and left ventricular systolic and diastolic function, including tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) of the mitral annulus (MA) and tricuspid annulus (TA), were compared. Enrollees included 25 PHN patients and 75 age-matched controls (mean age 7.5 years [range 1 day to 19 years]). Parameters of RV systolic and diastolic function were worse in PHN patients. Compared with controls, PHN patients had significantly decreased tricuspid valve inflow ratio, decreased TA TDI early diastolic velocities, decreased systolic velocities, increased tricuspid E/E' ratio (all p < 0.01) and increased myocardial performance index. In an age-stratified analysis, TDI measures in PHN patients <1 year of age were similar to controls, whereas differences in TA TDI velocities and MA TDI velocities were noted in patients ≥1 year of age. Abnormalities in Doppler echocardiographic indices of ventricular systolic and diastolic function were identified in pediatric PHN patients and were more prominent with older age. These indices are promising for serial noninvasive monitoring of disease severity, but further correlation with catheterization-derived measures is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ventricular Function / physiology*
  • Young Adult