Methods: PAH patients and healthy controls from two centers were prospectively enrolled to undergo on-site cine and 4D flow CMR, and CPET within one week. RV remodelling index was calculated as the ratio of RV to left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volumes (EDV). Phasic (peak systolic, average systolic, and peak E-wave) LV and RV blood flow KE indexed to EDV (KEIEDV) and ventricular LV and RV flow components (direct flow, retained inflow, delayed ejection flow, and residual volume) were calculated. Oxygen uptake (VO2), carbon dioxide production (VCO2) and minute ventilation (VE) were measured and recorded.
Results: 45 PAH patients (46 ± 11 years; 7 M) and 51 healthy subjects (46 ± 14 years; 17 M) with no significant differences in age and gender were analyzed. Compared with healthy controls, PAH had significantly lower median RV direct flow, RV delayed ejection flow, RV peak E-wave KEIEDV, peak VO2, and percentage (%) predicted peak VO2, while significantly higher median RV residual volume and VE/VCO2 slope. RV direct flow and RV residual volume were significantly associated with RV remodelling, function, peak VO2, % predicted peak VO2 and VE/VCO2 slope (all P < 0.01). Multiple linear regression analyses showed RV direct flow to be an independent marker of RV function, remodelling and exercise capacity.
Conclusion: In this 4D flow CMR and CPET study, RV direct flow provided incremental value over RVEF for discriminating adverse RV remodelling, impaired exercise capacity, and PAH with intermediate and high risk based on risk score. These data suggest that CMR with 4D flow CMR can provide comprehensive assessment of PAH severity, and may be used to monitor disease progression and therapeutic response.
- 4D flow CMR
- Cardiopulmonary exercise test
- Flow components
- Kinetic energy
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension