Assessment of Pulmonary Artery Pressures by Various Doppler Echocardiographic Parameters and its Correlation with Cardiac Catheterization in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

Heart Views. 2020 Oct-Dec;21(4):263-268. doi: 10.4103/HEARTVIEWS.HEARTVIEWS_133_20. Epub 2021 Jan 14.


Background: Measuring pulmonary artery pressures is a routine index in Doppler echocardiography to diagnose, risk stratify, and prognosticate patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH). There are numerous methods in use to measure it in routine clinical practice.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the correlation between the commonly used Doppler-derived parameters such as tricuspid regurgitation (TR)-derived systolic pulmonary artery pressure (SPAP), pulmonary regurgitation (PR)-derived mean pulmonary artery pressure (MPAP), and right ventricular outflow tract acceleration time (RVOT AcT) with right heart catheterization (RHC) data which are the gold standard.

Materials and methods: In this analytical study, we prospectively measured echo and angiogram parameters such as TR-derived SPAP, PR-derived MPAP, and RVOT AcT and studied its association with RHC data of thirty patients for a span of 2 years. Right ventricular AcT was also included in the study. Their relationship was displayed using Bland-Altman scatter plots. P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.

Results: Although both TR-derived SPAP and PR-derived MPAP had a moderate correlation with RHC-acquired data, the agreement between them was poor. RVOT AcT showed a strong inverse correlation with invasive MPAP.

Conclusion: Among the three Doppler methods that were assessed to measure pulmonary pressures, RVOT AcT had a strong correlation with MPAP. RVOT AcT of <80 ms had a high sensitivity to detect severe PH (defined as MPAP >45 mmHg). Hence, it is recommended to include AcT as a routine measure in the armamentarium of echocardiographic parameters used in patients with PH.

Keywords: Doppler echocardiography; pulmonary artery pressure; pulmonary hypertension; right heart catheterization.