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Medicine Matters Home Article of the Week Pulmonary Effective Arterial Elastance as a Measure of Right Ventricular Afterload and Its Prognostic Value in Pulmonary Hypertension Due to Left Heart Disease

Pulmonary Effective Arterial Elastance as a Measure of Right Ventricular Afterload and Its Prognostic Value in Pulmonary Hypertension Due to Left Heart Disease

ARTICLE: Pulmonary Effective Arterial Elastance as a Measure of Right Ventricular Afterload and Its Prognostic Value in Pulmonary Hypertension Due to Left Heart Disease

AUTHORS: Emmanouil Tampakakis, Sanjiv J. Shah, Barry A. Borlaug, Peter J. Leary, Harnish H. Patel, Wayne L. Miller, Benjamin W. Kelemen, Brian A. Houston, Todd M. KolbRachel DamicoStephen C. MathaiEdward K. KasperPaul M. HassounDavid A. KassRyan J. Tedford

JOURNAL: Circ Heart Fail. 2018 Apr;11(4):e004436. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.117.004436.


BACKGROUND: Patients with combined post- and precapillary pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease have a worse prognosis compared with isolated postcapillary. However, it remains unclear whether increased mortality in combined post- and precapillary pulmonary hypertension is simply a result of higher total right ventricular load. Pulmonary effective arterial elastance (Ea) is a measure of total right ventricular afterload, reflecting both resistive and pulsatile components. We aimed to test whether pulmonary Ea discriminates survivors from nonsurvivors in patients with pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease and if it does so better than other hemodynamic parameters associated with combined post- and precapillary pulmonary hypertension.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We combined 3 large heart failure patient cohorts (n=1036) from academic hospitals, including patients with pulmonary hypertension due to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (n=232), reduced ejection fraction (n=335), and a mixed population (n=469). In unadjusted and 2 adjusted models, pulmonary Ea more robustly predicted mortality than pulmonary vascular resistance and the transpulmonary gradient. Along with pulmonary arterial compliance, pulmonary Ea remained predictive of survival in patients with normal pulmonary vascular resistance. The diastolic pulmonary gradient did not predict mortality. In addition, in a subset of patients with echocardiographic data, Ea and pulmonary arterial compliance were better discriminators of right ventricular dysfunction than the other parameters.

CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary Ea and pulmonary arterial compliance more consistently predicted mortality than pulmonary vascular resistance or transpulmonary gradient across a spectrum of left heart disease with pulmonary hypertension, including patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, and pulmonary hypertension with a normal pulmonary vascular resistance.

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Kelsey Bennett