The effect of pulmonary arterial hypertension specific treatment on the left ventricle in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension

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Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by right ventricular (RV) pressure overload, leading to RV dilation, failure and death. In the course of the disease, the left ventricle (LV) is often impaired, due to interventricular interaction. Although the impact of PAH treatment on the RV has been well described, less is known on the LV.To examine effects of advanced PAH treatments on the volumes, function and strain of the left atrium and ventricle.This is a retrospective study. All patients underwent CMR and right heart catheterization, both at diagnosis and at 12-months follow up. Ventricular volumes and LV filling rate were calculated from the stack of short axis cine images using Simpsons method while left atrial (LA) volumes from the 4-chamber cine images using the area-length method. Tissue tracking was used for the evaluation of myocardial deformation. The LV endocardial and epicardial borders were manually delineated in all analysed sections with the initial contour set at end-diastole. All analyses were performed offline using dedicated software.In total, 66 patients (mean age 56.3±17.9 years, 67\ 77\ 23\ and 29 normal controls were included. The improvement in metrics of right and left heart size and function after the initiation of advanced PAH treatment, are presented in panel A. Of note, LV stroke volume was markedly increased (54.6±19.6ml at baseline vs 70.8±21.7ml at follow up, p\lt;0.0001) to reach controls. LV filling was markedly increased in latter two-thirds of the diastolic phase (panel B), especially at atrial kick point (arrow). Change in LA max volume was associated with changes in diastolic filling (r=0.354, p=0.004), LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes and stroke volume. These correlations were more robust in patients that increased LV filling compared to those that failed to increase LV filling (panels C-E). No association between changes in LV circumferential strain and LV volume load was observed. A weak correlation of change of LV peak longitudinal strain with stroke volume (r=−0.345, p=0.006), LV end diastolic volume (r=−0.284, p=0.027), LV ejection fraction (r=−0.337, p=0.008) and LA maximum area (r=−0.447, p\lt;0.0001) was observed. The changes of LV strain showed no correlation with the changes in patients' haemodynamics.Improvement in stroke volume after the initiation of advanced PAH treatment is associated with an increase in LA size, LV end diastolic volume and normalisation of strain. This reflects the improved filling state of the left ventricle and the potential of the left atrium to monitor treatment effects.Changes after PAH treatmentType of funding source: None
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

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