The right ventricular outflow tract in pediatric pulmonary hypertension-Data from the European Pediatric Pulmonary Vascular Disease Network

Echocardiography. 2018 Jun;35(6):841-848. doi: 10.1111/echo.13852. Epub 2018 Mar 5.


Objective: The right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) is pivotal for adequate RV function and known to be adversely affected by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) in adults with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Aim of this study was to determine the effects of increased RV pressure afterload in children with PH on RVOT size, function, and flow parameters.

Methods: We conducted a transthoracic echocardiographic study in 51 children with PH (median age: 5.3 years; range 1.5 months to 18 years) and determined the following RVOT variables: RVOT diameter, RVOT velocity time integral (VTI), ratio of tricuspid regurgitation velocity (TRV)/RVOT VTI, and RVOT systolic excursion (SE).

Results: In our pediatric PH cohort, the age-specific RVOT diameter z-score was higher compared to normal values. Deviation from normal RVOT diameter values increased with age, disease severity, and New York Heart Association functional class. Significant correlations were found between RVOT diameter and the RV end-diastolic area and right atrial area. The age-specific RVOT VTIz-score values were significantly lower in children with PH vs healthy controls. The TRV/RVOT VTI ratio increased with rising systolic RV pressure, while the RVOT SE was similar between PH children and control subjects.

Conclusions: In pediatric PH cohort, the RVOT VTI is decreased, and the TRV/RVOT VTI ratio and the RVOT diameter increased compared to healthy subjects. Assessment of RVOT variables, together with established RV parameters, allows for a comprehensive assessment of global right heart size and performance in children with PH.

Keywords: RVOT velocity time integral; pediatric; pulmonary hypertension; ratio of tricuspid regurgitation/RVOT velocity time integral; right ventricular outflow tract diameter.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Cardiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Circulation / physiology
  • Registries*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Societies, Medical*
  • Ventricular Function, Right / physiology*