Background: Pharmacological stress testing can help to uncover pathological hemodynamic conditions and is, therefore, used in the clinical routine to assess patients with structural heart diseases such as aortic coarctation with borderline indication for treatment. The aim of this study was to develop and test a reduced-order model predicting dobutamine stress induced pressure gradients across the coarctation.
Methods: The reduced-order model was developed based on n=21 imaging data sets of patients with aortic coarctation and a meta-analysis of subjects undergoing dobutamine stress testing. Within an independent test cohort of n=21 patients with aortic coarctation, the results of the model were compared with dobutamine stress testing during catheterization.
Results: In n=19 patients responding to dobutamine stress testing, pressure gradients across the coarctation during dobutamine stress increased from 15.7±5.1 to 33.6±10.3 mm Hg (paired t test, P<0.001). The model-predicted pressure gradients agreed with catheter measurements with a mean difference of -2.2 mm Hg and a limit of agreement of ±11.16 mm Hg according to Bland-Altman analysis. Significant equivalence between catheter-measured and simulated pressure gradients during stress was found within the study cohort (two 1-sided tests of equivalence with a noninferiority margin of 5.0 mm Hg, 33.6±10.33 versus 31.5±11.15 mm Hg, P=0.021).
Conclusions: The developed reduced-order model can instantly predict dobutamine-induced hemodynamic changes with accuracy equivalent to heart catheterization in patients with aortic coarctation. The method is easy to use, available as a web-based calculator, and provides a promising alternative to conventional stress testing in the clinical routine. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02591940.
Keywords: aortic coarctation; catheterization; computer simulation; dobutamine; heart defects, congenital; magnetic resonance imaging.