2019 Volume 83 Issue 12 Pages 2527-2536
Background:Exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH) is often seen in chronic thromboembolic PH (CTEPH) patients with normalized resting hemodynamics, but it is difficult to differentiate precapillary PH as pulmonary vascular dysfunction and post-capillary PH from occult-left ventricular dysfunction (LVD). The aim of this study was to examine whether the exercise-induced elevation of pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP) can be predicted by the echocardiographic index at rest.
Methods and Results:A total of 71 CTEPH patients (67±11 years old, male/female=15/56) treated by pulmonary angioplasty with near-normal pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) and normal PAWP at rest underwent symptom-limited exercise test using supine cycle ergometer with right heart catheterization. Exercise-induced elevation in PAWP of >20 mmHg during exercise was defined as occult-LVD. Resting echocardiography was performed within 3 months. In the occult-LVD (n=28), PAWP at rest after leg raising for exercise (14±4 vs. 11±3 mmHg, P<0.001), and mean PAP during exercise were higher compared with the non-LVD (n=43). Peak oxygen consumption, cardiac output, and pulmonary vascular resistance at peak exercise did not differ between groups. Left atrial volume index (LAVi) in the occult-LVD was significantly larger (39.7±8.1 vs. 34.4±9.6 mL/m2, P=0.017). LAVi correlated with exercise PAWP (r=0.356, P=0.002), but not resting PAWP (r=0.161, P=0.179).
Conclusions:Larger left atrial volume may reflect the exercise-induced PAWP elevation as occult-LVD in CTEPH patients.