JOURNAL ARTICLE

Flow characteristics of the proximal pulmonary arteries and vena cava in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: correlation between 3.0 T phase-contrast MRI and right heart catheterization

Xiaojuan Guo, Min Liu, Zhanhong Ma, Shuangkun Wang, Yuanhua Yang, Zhenguo Zhai, Chen Wang, Renyou Zhai
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology: Official Journal of the Turkish Society of Radiology 2014, 20 (5): 414-20
25163757

PURPOSE: We aimed to determine the correlation between flow characteristics of the proximal pulmonary arteries and vena cava obtained by 3.0 T phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and hemodynamic characteristics by right heart catheterization in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty consecutive patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers were included prospectively. All patients and controls underwent phase-contrast MRI to determine the flow characteristics including peak velocity, mean velocity, and mean blood flow of the proximal pulmonary artery and vena cava. All patients underwent right heart catheterization to determine the hemodynamics.

RESULTS: Peak velocity and mean velocity of the proximal pulmonary artery were significantly lower in the patient group. In patients, both peak velocity and mean blood flow were sequentially decreased in the main pulmonary artery, left and right pulmonary arteries, and left and right interlobar pulmonary arteries. Inferior vena cava had higher peak velocity, mean velocity, and mean blood flow than superior vena cava. Peak velocity of the main pulmonary artery correlated with mean and diastolic pulmonary artery pressure. Peak velocity of both inferior and superior vena cava strongly correlated with the pulmonary vascular resistance index (PVRI) (r=-0.68, P < 0.001 and r=-0.74, P < 0.001, respectively). Mean velocity of the main pulmonary artery and right pulmonary artery strongly correlated with PVRI and mean pulmonary artery pressure. Mean velocity of the superior vena cava and mean blood flow of the main pulmonary artery strongly correlated with PVRI and right cardiac work index.

CONCLUSION: Blood flow in the proximal pulmonary artery and vena cava evaluated by phase-contrast MRI correlate with hemodynamic parameters of right heart catheterization and can be used to noninvasively evaluate the severity of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension and, potentially, to follow up the treatment response.

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