Left Atrium Maximal Axial Cross-Sectional Area is a Specific Computed Tomographic Imaging Biomarker of World Health Organization Group 2 Pulmonary Hypertension


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Abstract

Purpose:Left heart disease is associated with left atrial enlargement and is a common cause of pulmonary hypertension (PH). We investigated the relationship between left atrium maximal axial cross-sectional area (LA-MACSA), as measured on chest computed tomography (CT), and PH due to left heart disease (World Health Organization group 2) in patients with right heart catheterization–proven PH.Materials and Methods:A total of 165 patients with PH who had undergone right heart catheterization with pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) measurements and nongated chest CTs were included. LA-MACSA, LA anterior-posterior, and LA transverse measurements were independently obtained using the hand-drawn region-of-interest and distance measurement tools on standard PACS by 2 blinded cardiothoracic radiologists. Nonparametric statistical analyses and receiver operating characteristic curve were performed.Results:Forty-three patients had group 2 PH (PCWP>15 mm Hg), and 122 had nongroup 2 PH (PCWP≤15 mm Hg). Median LA-MACSA was significantly different between the group 2 PH and nongroup 2 PH patients (2312 vs. 1762 mm2, P<0.001). Interobserver concordance correlation for LA-MACSA was high at 0.91 (P<0.001). At a threshold of 2400 mm2, LA-MACSA demonstrated 93% specificity for classifying group 2 PH (area under the curve, 0.73; P<0.001).Conclusions:LA-MACSA is a readily obtainable and reproducible measurement of left atrial enlargement on CT and can distinguish between group 2 and nongroup 2 PH with high specificity.

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