Evaluation of pulmonary arterial pressure is essential for the diagnosis and management of patients with congenital heart disease; it is usually done by cardiac catheterization. An alternative, noninvasive method may be clinically more useful. The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of the noninvasive determination of systolic pressure of the pulmonary artery and right ventricle by contrast-enhanced Doppler echocardiography. We selected 30 pediatric patients (28 with trivial or nonsignificant tricuspid regurgitant Doppler signals and 2 with significant tricuspid regurgitant Doppler signals) aged 2 months to 21 years. The flow velocity of tricuspid regurgitation was measured with continuous-wave Doppler of the right ventricular inflow view or left parasternal or apical four- chamber view before and after injection of two types of contrast medium (hand-agitated 5% glucose or sonicated albumin). The systolic pressure of the pulmonary artery was assessed as the estimated right ventricular systolic pressure (albumin method) minus the peak pressure gradient across the pulmonary valve (nonenhanced Doppler method). After injection of hand- agitated 5% glucose and sonicated albumin, trivial tricuspid regurgitation signals were enhanced in 25 of 28 patients (89%). In two patients, spectral envelopes were well defined enough to obtain the peak systolic velocity of the tricuspid regurgitation jet without contrast medium injection. Peak velocity was not altered by injection of contrast medium in these patients. There was significant correlation between the estimation by contrast- enhanced Doppler using hand-agitated 5% glucose and the cardiac catheterization measurement of the transtricuspid pressure gradient (r = 0.88). The transtricuspid pressure gradients obtained by continuous-wave Doppler during sonicated albumin enhancement corresponded closely to those measured by cardiac catheterization (r = 0.95). Pulmonary arterial and right ventricular systolic pressures measured by Doppler using sonicated albumin and those obtained by cardiac catheterization were highly correlated (right ventricle, r = 0.96; pulmonary artery, r = 0.95). In conclusion, this technique may be a valuable noninvasive method for determining accurate right ventricular and pulmonary arterial systolic pressures.
- Contrast Doppler echocardiography
- Pulmonary artery pressure
- Right ventricle pressure
- Tricuspid regurgitation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine