The Value of Hemodynamic Measurements or Cardiac MRI in the Follow-up of Patients With Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Chest. 2021 Apr;159(4):1575-1585. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2020.10.077. Epub 2020 Nov 14.


Background: Treatment of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is conventionally based on functional plus invasive measurements obtained during right heart catheterization (RHC). Whether risk assessment during repeated measurements could also be performed on the basis of imaging parameters is unclear, as a direct comparison of strategies is lacking.

Research question: How does the predictive value of noninvasive parameters compare with that of invasive hemodynamic measurements 1 year after the diagnosis of idiopathic PAH?

Study design and methods: One hundred and eighteen patients with idiopathic PAH who underwent RHC and cardiac MRI (CMR) were included in this study (median time between baseline evaluation and first parameter measures, 1.0 [0.8-1.2] years). Forty-four patients died or underwent lung transplantation. Forward Cox regression analyses were done to determine the best predictive functional, hemodynamic, and/or imaging model. Patients were classified as high risk if the event occurred < 5 years after diagnosis (n = 24), whereas patients without event were classified as low risk.

Results: A prognostic model based on age, sex, and absolute values at follow-up of functional parameters (6-min walk distance) performed well (Akaike information criterion [AIC], 279; concordance, 0.67). Predictive models with only hemodynamic (right atrial pressure, mixed venous oxygen saturation; AIC, 322; concordance, 0.66) or imaging parameters (right ventricular ejection fraction; AIC, 331; concordance, 0.63) at 1 year of follow-up performed similarly. The predictive value improved when functional data were combined with either hemodynamic data (AIC, 268; concordance, 0.69) or imaging data (AIC, 273; concordance, 0.70). A model composed of functional, hemodynamic, and imaging data performed only marginally better (AIC, 266; concordance, 0.69). Finally, changes between baseline and 1-year follow-up were observed for multiple hemodynamic and CMR parameters; only a change in CMR parameters was of prognostic predictive value.

Interpretation: At 1 year of follow-up, risk assessment based on CMR is at least equal to risk assessment based on RHC. In this study, only changes in CMR, but not hemodynamic parameters, were of prognostic predictive value during the first year of follow-up.

Keywords: imaging; pulmonary hypertension; right ventricle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Cardiac Output
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemodynamic Monitoring*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension / mortality
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment