Right ventricular stroke work index by echocardiography in adult patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension

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Background: In adult patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), right ventricular (RV) failure may worsen rapidly, resulting in a poor prognosis. In this population, non-invasive assessment of RV function is challenging. RV stroke work index (RVSWI) measured by right heart catheterization (RHC) represents a promising index for RV function. The aim of the present study was to comprehensively evaluate non-invasive measures to calculate RVSWI derived by echocardiography (RVSWIECHO) using RHC (RVSWIRHC) as a reference in adult PAH patients. Methods: Retrospectively, 54 consecutive treatment naïve patients with PAH (65 ± 13 years, 36 women) were analyzed. Echocardiography and RHC were performed within a median of 1 day [IQR 0–1 days]. RVSWIRHC was calculated as: (mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP)—mean right atrial pressure (mRAP)) x stroke volume index (SVI)RHC. Four methods for RVSWIECHO were evaluated: RVSWIECHO-1 = Tricuspid regurgitant maximum pressure gradient (TRmaxPG) x SVIECHO, RVSWIECHO-2 = (TRmaxPG-mRAPECHO) x SVIECHO, RVSWIECHO-3 = TR mean gradient (TRmeanPG) x SVIECHO and RVSWIECHO-4 = (TRmeanPG–mRAPECHO) x SVIECHO. Estimation of mRAPECHO was derived from inferior vena cava diameter. Results: RVSWIRHC was 1132 ± 352 mmHg*mL*m−2. In comparison with RVSWIRHC in absolute values, RVSWIECHO-1 and RVSWIECHO-2 was significantly higher (p < 0.001), whereas RVSWIECHO-4 was lower (p < 0.001). No difference was shown for RVSWIECHO-3 (p = 0.304). The strongest correlation, with RVSWIRHC, was demonstrated for RVSWIECHO-2 (r = 0.78, p < 0.001) and RVSWIECHO-1 (r = 0.75, p < 0.001). RVSWIECHO-3 and RVSWIECHO-4 had moderate correlation (r = 0.66 and r = 0.69, p < 0.001 for all). A good agreement (ICC) was demonstrated for RVSWIECHO-3 (ICC = 0.80, 95% CI 0.64–0.88, p < 0.001), a moderate for RVSWIECHO-4 (ICC = 0.73, 95% CI 0.27–0.87, p < 0.001) and RVSWIECHO-2 (ICC = 0.55, 95% CI − 0.21–0.83, p < 0.001). A poor ICC was demonstrated for RVSWIECHO-1 (ICC = 0.45, 95% CI − 0.18–0.77, p < 0.001). Agreement of absolute values for RVSWIECHO-1 was − 772 ± 385 (− 50 ± 20%) mmHg*mL*m−2, RVSWIECHO-2 − 600 ± 339 (-41 ± 20%) mmHg*mL*m−2, RVSWIECHO-3 42 ± 286 (5 ± 25%) mmHg*mL*m−2 and for RVSWIECHO-4 214 ± 273 (23 ± 27%) mmHg*mL*m−2. Conclusion: The correlation with RVSWIRHC was moderate to strong for all echocardiographic measures, whereas only RVSWIECHO-3 displayed high concordance of absolute values. The results, however, suggest that RVSWIECHO-1 or RVSWIECHO-3 could be the preferable echocardiographic methods. Prospective studies are warranted to evaluate the clinical utility of such measures in relation to treatment response, risk stratification and prognosis in patients with PAH.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • Echocardiography, Right heart catheterization, Right ventricular stroke work index
Original languageEnglish
Article number219
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec
Publication categoryResearch