Echocardiography and pulmonary hypertension in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease undergoing lung transplantation evaluation

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The American journal of the medical sciences


BACKGROUND: The use of echocardiography in pulmonary hypertension (PH) in advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is understudied. We aimed to compare the performance of echocardiography with right heart catheterization (RHC) in the diagnosis of PH in COPD patients undergoing lung transplant evaluation.

METHODS: We included 111 patients with severe COPD who underwent RHC in a single center as part of lung transplantation evaluation. COPD-PH and severe COPD-PH were defined based on RHC per the 6(th) world symposium on pulmonary hypertension. Echocardiographic probability of PH was described according to the European Society of Cardiology guidelines. Summary and univariate analyses were performed.

RESULTS: The mean age (±SD) was 62 (8) and 47% (n=52) were men. A total of 82 patients (74 %) had COPD-PH. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive, and negative predictive values of echocardiography in diagnosing COPD-PH were 43 %, 83 %, 88 %, and 34 % respectively and for severe COPD-PH were 67 %, 75 %, 50 %, and 86 % respectively. Echocardiography was consistent with RHC in ruling in/out PH in 53% (n=59) of patients. After controlling for age, sex. BMI, pack year, echocardiography-RHC time difference, GOLD class, FVC, and CT finding of emphysema, higher TLC decreased consistency (parameter estimate=-0.031; odds ratio: 0.97, 95%CI 0.94-0.99; p=0.037) and higher DLCO increased consistency (parameter estimate=0.070; odds ratio: 1.07, 95%CI 0.94-0.99; p=0.026).

CONCLUSIONS: Echocardiography has high specificity but low sensitivity for the diagnosis of PH in advanced COPD. Its performance improves when ruling out severe COPD-PH. This performance correlates inversely with lung hyperinflation.

Medical Subject Headings

Male; Humans; Female; Hypertension, Pulmonary; Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; Pulmonary Emphysema; Echocardiography; Cardiac Catheterization; Lung Transplantation

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ePub ahead of print





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