Right Atrial Deformation in Predicting Outcomes in Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension

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Background—Elevated right atrial (RA) pressure is a risk factor for mortality, and RA size is prognostic of adverse outcomes in pulmonary hypertension (PH). There is limited data on phasic RA function (reservoir, conduit, and pump) in pediatric PH. We sought to evaluate (1) the RA function in pediatric PH patients compared with controls, (2) compare the RA deformation indices with Doppler indices of diastolic dysfunction, functional capacity, biomarkers, invasive hemodynamics, and right ventricular functional indices, and (3) evaluate the potential of RA deformation indices to predict clinical outcomes.Methods and Results—Sixty-six PH patients (mean age 7.9±4.7 years) were compared with 36 controls (7.7±4.4 years). RA and right ventricular deformation indices were obtained using 2-dimensional speckle tracking (2DCPA; TomTec, Germany). RA strain, strain rates, emptying fraction, and right ventricular longitudinal strain were measured. RA function was impaired in PH patients versus controls (P<0.001). There were significant associations between RA function with invasive hemodynamics (P<0.01). RA reservoir, pump function, the rate of RA filling, and atrial minimum volume predicted adverse clinical outcomes (hazard ratio [HR], 0.15; confidence interval [CI], 0.03–0.73; P<0.01; HR, 0.05; CI, 0.003–0.43; P<0.004; HR, 0.04; CI, 0.006–0.56; P<0.01; and HR, 8.6; CI, 1.6–37.2; P<0.01, respectively).Conclusions—RA deformation properties are significantly altered in pediatric PH patients. Progressive worsening of RA reservoir and conduit functions is related to changes in right ventricular diastolic dysfunction. RA reservoir function, pump function, the rate of atrial filling, and atrial minimum volume emerged as outcome predictors in pediatric PH.

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