Pulmonary hypertension is defined as a mean arterial pressure of ≥25 mmHg as confirmed on right heart catheterisation. Traditionally, the pulmonary arterial systolic pressure has been estimated on echo by utilising the simplified Bernoulli equation from the peak tricuspid regurgitant velocity and adding this to an estimate of right atrial pressure. Previous studies have demonstrated a correlation between this estimate of pulmonary arterial systolic pressure and that obtained from invasive measurement across a cohort of patients. However, for an individual patient significant overestimation and underestimation can occur and the levels of agreement between the two is poor. Recent guidance has suggested that echocardiographic assessment of pulmonary hypertension should be limited to determining the probability of pulmonary hypertension being present rather than estimating the pulmonary artery pressure. In those patients in whom the presence of pulmonary hypertension requires confirmation, this should be done with right heart catheterisation when indicated. This guideline protocol from the British Society of Echocardiography aims to outline a practical approach to assessing the probability of pulmonary hypertension using echocardiography and should be used in conjunction with the previously published minimum dataset for a standard transthoracic echocardiogram.
Daniel X Augustine, Lindsay D Coates-Bradshaw, James Willis, Allan Harkness, Liam Ring, Julia Grapsa, Gerry Coghlan, Nikki Kaye, David Oxborough, Shaun Robinson, Julie Sandoval, Bushra S Rana, Anjana Siva, Petros Nihoyannopoulos, Luke S Howard, Kevin Fox, Sanjeev Bhattacharyya, Vishal Sharma, Richard P Steeds, Thomas Mathew and the British Society of Echocardiography Education Committee
Antonis Pantazis, Annina S Vischer, Maria Carrillo Perez-Tome and Silvia Castelletti
The clinical spectrum of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is complex and includes a variety of phenotypes, which leads to different types of manifestations. Although most of the patients are asymptomatic, a significant proportion of them will develop symptoms or risk of arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Therefore, the objectives of HCM diagnosis and management are to relieve the patients' symptoms (chest pain, heart failure, syncope, palpitations, etc.), prevent disease progression and major cardiovascular complications and SCD. The heterogeneity of HCM patterns, their symptoms and assessment is a challenge for the cardiologist.
Thomas Mathew, Lynne Williams, Govardhan Navaratnam, Bushra Rana, Richard Wheeler, Katherine Collins, Allan Harkness, Richard Jones, Dan Knight, Kevin O'Gallagher, David Oxborough, Liam Ring, Julie Sandoval, Martin Stout, Vishal Sharma, Richard P Steeds and on behalf of the British Society of Echocardiography Education Committee
Heart failure (HF) is a debilitating and life-threatening condition, with 5-year survival rate lower than breast or prostate cancer. It is the leading cause of hospital admission in over 65s, and these admissions are projected to rise by more than 50% over the next 25 years. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is the first-line step in diagnosis in acute and chronic HF and provides immediate information on chamber volumes, ventricular systolic and diastolic function, wall thickness, valve function and the presence of pericardial effusion, while contributing to information on aetiology. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the third most common cause of HF and is the most common cardiomyopathy. It is defined by the presence of left ventricular dilatation and left ventricular systolic dysfunction in the absence of abnormal loading conditions (hypertension and valve disease) or coronary artery disease sufficient to cause global systolic impairment. This document provides a practical approach to diagnosis and assessment of dilated cardiomyopathy that is aimed at the practising sonographer.
Sothinathan Gurunathan and Roxy Senior
We present the case of a 32-year-old man who presented with a remote history of chest pain and was diagnosed with non-compaction cardiomyopathy on echocardiography. On presentation, he was relatively asymptomatic with normal cardiac function. Unfortunately, he presented 1 year later with a catastrophic embolic stroke.
- Left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC) is a myocardial disorder characterised by prominent left ventricular (LV) trabeculae, a thin compacted layer and deep intertrabecular recesses.
- Two-dimensional echocardiography with colour Doppler is the study of choice for diagnosis and follow-up of LVNC. CMR serves an important role where adequate echocardiographic imaging cannot be obtained.
- LVNC is associated with high rates of mortality and morbidity in adults, including heart failure, thromboembolic events and tachyarrhythmias.
Peter H Waddingham, Sanjeev Bhattacharyya, Jet Van Zalen and Guy Lloyd
Patients with non-ischaemic systolic heart failure (HF) and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) are a heterogenous group with varied morbidity and mortality. Prognostication in this group is challenging. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the significance of the presence of contractile reserve as assessed via stress imaging on mortality and hospitalisation.
A search for studies that non-invasively assessed contractile reserve in patients with DCM or non-ischaemic HF with reduced ejection fraction, stress imaging with follow-up data comparing outcomes. A range of imaging modalities and stressors were included. We examined primary endpoints of mortality and secondary endpoints of combined cardiovascular events including HF progression or hospitalisation. Our analysis compared endpoints in patients with contractile reserve and those without it.
Nine prospective cohort studies were identified describing a total of 787 patients. These studies are methodologically but not statistically heterogenous (I 2 = 31%). Using a random effect model, the presence of contractile reserve was associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular events odds ratios of 0.20 (CI 0.11, 0.39) (P < 0.00001) and 0.13 (CI 0.04, 0.40) (P = 0.0004), respectively.
Regardless of stressor and imaging modality and despite the significant methodological heterogeneity within the current data (imaging techniques and parameters), patients with non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy and reduced EF who demonstrate contractile reserve have a lower mortality, and lower events/hospitalisations. The presence of contractile reserve therefore offers a potential positive prognostic indicator when managing these patients.
V S Ellensen, S Saeed, T Geisner and R Haaverstad
We present a rare complication of deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolism that threatened the patient with systemic embolization. A 36-year-old female was referred to the hospital after five days of progressive shortness of breath and chest pain. Preceding onset of symptoms, she had undergone surgery leading to reduced physical activity and had just returned from vacation by a long flight. Investigations with transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography revealed a thromboembolism-in-transit across a patent foramen ovale. Thoracic CT showed submassive bilateral pulmonary embolism. Hemodynamic parameters were stable. The patient was treated surgically with extraction of the thrombus, closure of the foramen ovale and removal of the bilateral pulmonary emboli. She was discharged after an uneventful hospital stay.
- Thromboembolism-in-transit across a patent foramen ovale usually occurs in the presence of deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolism. The abrupt rise in pulmonary arterial pressure may contribute to the migration of the thrombus across the atrial septum to the systemic circulation.
- If any abnormal structures are seen in the left atrium by TTE in a patient with pulmonary embolism, a TEE should be performed to rule out an embolus entrapped in a patent foramen ovale.
- When acute pulmonary hypertension cannot be assessed by conventional methods, additional parameters such as shortened right ventricular outflow tract acceleration time and a mid-systolic notching of the pulse wave Doppler profile in the right ventricular outflow tract may be useful.
- Mortality is highest during the initial 24 h after onset of chest symptoms; thus, optimal treatment must commence urgently.
- The choice of treatment in each individual patient must be made after a thorough discussion in a multidisciplinary heart team.
Anne Ringle, Anne Dornhorst, Michaela B Rehman, Cristina Ruisanchez and Petros Nihoyannopoulos
We sought to assess the long-term evolution of left ventricular (LV) function using two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) for the detection of preclinical diabetic cardiomyopathy, in asymptomatic type 1 diabetic patients, over a 6-year follow-up.
Design and methods
Sixty-six asymptomatic type 1 diabetic patients with no cardiovascular risk factors were compared to 26 matched healthy controls. Conventional, 2D and 3D-STE were performed at baseline. A subgroup of 14 patients underwent a 6-year follow-up evaluation.
At baseline, diabetic patients had similar LV ejection fraction (60 vs 61%; P = NS), but impaired longitudinal function, as assessed by 2D-global longitudinal strain (GLS) (−18.9 ± 2 vs −20.5 ± 2; P = 0.0002) and 3D-GLS (−17.5 ± 2 vs −19 ± 2; P = 0.003). At follow-up, diabetic patients had worsened longitudinal function compared to baseline (2D-GLS: −18.4 ± 1 vs −19.2 ± 1; P = 0.03). Global circumferential (GCS) and radial (GRS) strains were unchanged at baseline and during follow-up. Metabolic status did not correlate with GLS, whereas GCS and GRS showed a good correlation, suggestive of a compensatory increase of circumferential and radial functions in advanced stages of the disease – long-term diabetes (GCS: −26 ± 3 vs −23.3 ± 3; P = 0.008) and in the presence of microvascular complications (GRS: 38.8 ± 9 vs 34.3 ± 8; P = 0.04).
Subclinical myocardial dysfunction can be detected by 2D and 3D-STE in type 1 diabetic patients, independently of any other cardiovascular risk factors. Diabetic cardiomyopathy progression was suggested by a mild decrease in longitudinal function at the follow-up, but did not extend to a clinical expression of the disease, as no death or over heart failure was reported.
A E Velcea, S Mihaila Baldea, D Muraru, L P Badano and D Vinereanu
Neck venous malformations and their potentially life-threatening complications are rarely reported in the available literature. Cases of aneurysmal or hypo-plastic jugular vein thrombosis associated with systemic embolization have not been frequently reported. We present the case of a 60-year-old male, without any known risk factors for thromboembolic disease, admitted for sudden onset dyspnea. The physical examination was remarkable for a right lateral cervical mass, expanding with Valsalva maneuver. Thoracic CT with contrast established the diagnosis of bilateral pulmonary embolism and raised the suspicion of superior vena cava and right atrial thrombosis. Bedside transthoracic echocardiography confirmed the presence of a large right atrial thrombus, with intermittent protrusion through the tricuspid valve. Systemic thrombolysis with Alteplase was initiated shortly after diagnosis, in parallel with unfractionated heparin, with complete resolution of the intracavitary thrombus documented by echocardiography. The patient showed significant improvement in symptoms and was later started on oral anticoagulation. Computed vascular tomography of the neck was performed before discharge, showing hypoplasia of the left internal jugular vein and aneurismal dilation of the contralateral internal jugular vein, without thrombosis. There were no identifiable systemic causes for thrombosis. Surgical resection of the aneurismal jugular vein was excluded, because of its potential to cause intracranial hypertension. The preferred therapeutic option in this case was long-term oral anticoagulation.
- Internal jugular venous malformations, such as aneurisms or hypoplasia, could be associated with an increased risk of thrombosis and major embolic events.
- Systemic thrombolysis can be an efficient solution in cases of pulmonary embolism with right heart thrombosis.
- Multimodality imaging is greatly valuable in clarifying the diagnosis of atypical cases.
Mohammed Andaleeb Chowdhury, Jered M Cook, George V Moukarbel, Sana Ashtiani, Thomas A Schwann, Mark R Bonnell, Christopher J Cooper and Samer J Khouri
This analysis aims to assess the prognostic value of pre-operative right ventricular echocardiographic parameters in predicting short-term adverse outcomes and long-term mortality after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).
Study design: Observational retrospective cohort. Pre-operative echocardiographic data, perioperative adverse outcomes (POAO) and long-term mortality were retrospectively analyzed in 491 patients who underwent isolated CABG at a single academic center between 2006 and 2014.
Average age of enrolled subjects was 66 ± 11.5 years with majority being male (69%). 227/491 patients had 30 days POAO (46%); most common being post-operative atrial fibrillation (27.3%) followed by prolonged ventilation duration (12.7%). On multivariate analysis, left atrial volume index ≥42 mL/m2 (LAVI) (OR (95% CI): 1.98 (1.03–3.82), P = 0.04), mitral E/A >2 (1.97 (1.02–3.78), P = 0.04), right atrial size >18 cm2 (1.86 (1.14–3.05), P = 0.01), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) <16 mm (1.8 (1.03–3.17), P = 0.04), right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) ≥36 mmHg (pulmonary hypertension) (1.6 (1.03–2.38), P = 0.04) and right ventricle myocardial performance index (RVMPI) >0.55 (1.58 (1.01–2.46), P = 0.04) were found to be associated with increased 30-day POAO. On 3.5-year follow-up, cumulative survival was decreased in patients with myocardial performance index (MPI) ≥0.55 (log rank: 4.5, P = 0.034) and in patients with mitral valve E/e′ ≥14 (log rank: 4.9, P = 0.026).
Pre-operative right ventricle dysfunction (RVD) is associated with increased perioperative complications. Furthermore, pre-operative RVD and increased left atrial pressures are associated with long-term mortality post CABG.
David Oxborough, Saqib Ghani, Allan Harkness, Guy Lloyd, William Moody, Liam Ring, Julie Sandoval, Roxy Senior, Nabeel Sheikh, Martin Stout, Victor Utomi, James Willis, Abbas Zaidi and Richard Steeds
The aim of the study is to establish the impact of 2D echocardiographic methods on absolute values for aortic root dimensions and to describe any allometric relationship to body size. We adopted a nationwide cross-sectional prospective multicentre design using images obtained from studies utilising control groups or where specific normality was being assessed. A total of 248 participants were enrolled with no history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension or abnormal findings on echocardiography. Aortic root dimensions were measured at the annulus, the sinus of Valsalva, the sinotubular junction, the proximal ascending aorta and the aortic arch using the inner edge and leading edge methods in both diastole and systole by 2D echocardiography. All dimensions were scaled allometrically to body surface area (BSA), height and pulmonary artery diameter. For all parameters with the exception of the aortic annulus, dimensions were significantly larger in systole (P<0.05). All aortic root and arch measurements were significantly larger when measured using the leading edge method compared with the inner edge method (P<0.05). Allometric scaling provided a b exponent of BSA0.6 in order to achieve size independence. Similarly, ratio scaling to height in subjects under the age of 40 years also produced size independence. In conclusion, the largest aortic dimensions occur in systole while using the leading edge method. Reproducibility of measurement, however, is better when assessing aortic dimensions in diastole. There is an allometric relationship to BSA and, therefore, allometric scaling in the order of BSA0.6 provides a size-independent index that is not influenced by the age or gender.