Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiogram Dynamic Parameter Correlation With Pulmonary Pressure and Pulmonary Hypertension Etiologies

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Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is caused by etiologies that differ in pathophysiology. Patients with undiagnosed PH may have a computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) scan during workup. Static measurements on computed tomography correlate with PH; however, dynamic parameters have received less attention. We studied the correlation between CTPA dynamic parameters and PH and assessed whether these parameters differ among PH etiologies. We also propose a method for PH screening.


Patients who underwent right-heart catheterization and CTPA within 45 days of each other were included. Charts were reviewed for presence and etiology of PH. The time it took to reach the CTPA trigger threshold during bolus tracking (TT) was recorded and compared with pulmonary pressure measured on pulmonary artery catheterization. The correlation between TT values and pulmonary pressure was studied, as well as the sensitivity and specificity of TT for PH.


Twenty-seven patients with 28 examinations were included. A significant correlation was found between pulmonary pressure and TT, as well as TT and right ventricular decreased function, P < 0.01. Left heart failure showed the longest TT among PH subgroups and significantly longer TT in patients with both PH and right ventricular decreased function. Time to trigger demonstrated a sensitivity range of 75% to 92% and specificity between 56% and 88% for pulmonary pressure of 40 mm Hg or greater.


Dynamic parameters of flow measured on CTPA significantly correlate with pulmonary pressure and can potentially help screen for PH. Left heart failure seems to have the greatest impact on TT among patients with PH.

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