Noninvasive Evaluation of Right Atrial Pressure

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In current practice, right atrial pressure (RAP) is an essential component in the hemodynamic assessment of patients and a requisite for the noninvasive estimation of the pulmonary artery pressures. RAP provides an estimation of intravascular volume, which is a critical component for optimal patient care and management. Increased RAP is associated with adverse outcomes and is independently related to all-cause mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease. Although the gold standard for RAP evaluation is invasive monitoring, various techniques are available for the noninvasive evaluation of RAP. Various echocardiographic methods have been suggested for the evaluation of RAP, consisting of indices obtained from the inferior vena cava, systemic and hepatic veins, tissue Doppler parameters, and right atrial dimensions. Because the noninvasive evaluation of RAP involves indirect measurements, multiple factors must be taken into account to provide the most accurate estimate of RAP. The authors review the data supporting current guidelines, identifying areas of agreement, conflict, limitation, and uncertainty.

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