Non-invasive determination by cardiovascular magnetic resonance of right ventricular-vascular coupling in children and adolescents with pulmonary hypertension

Uyen Truong*, Sonali Patel, Vitaly Kheyfets, Jamie Dunning, Brian Fonseca, Alex J. Barker, Dunbar Ivy, Robin Shandas, Kendall Hunter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Pediatric pulmonary hypertension (PH) remains a disease with high morbidity and mortality in children. Understanding ventricular-vascular coupling, a measure of how well matched the ventricular and vascular function are, may elucidate pathway leading to right heart failure. Ventricular vascular coupling ratio (VVCR), comprised of effective elastance (Ea, index of arterial load) and right ventricular maximal end-systolic elastance (Ees, index of contractility), is conventionally determined by catheterization. Here, we apply a non-invasive approach to determining VVCR in pediatric subjects with PH. Methods: This retrospective study included PH subjects who had a cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) study within 14 days of cardiac catheterization. PH was defined as mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP)∈≥∈25 mmHg on prior or current catheterization. A non-invasive measure of VVCR was derived from CMR-only (VVCRm) and compared to VVCR estimated by catheterization-derived single beat estimation (VVCRs). Indexed pulmonary vascular resistance (PVRi) and pulmonary vascular reactivity were determined during the catheterization procedure. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between PVRi and VVCRm. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis determined the diagnostic value of VVCRm in predicting vascular reactivity. Results: Seventeen subjects (3 months-23 years; mean 11.3∈±∈7.4 years) were identified between January 2009-August 2013 for inclusion with equal gender distributions. Mean mPAP was 35 mmHg∈±∈15 and PVRi was 8.5 Woods unit x m2∈±∈7.8. VVCRm (range 0.43-2.82) increased with increasing severity as defined by PVRi (p∈<∈0.001), and was highly correlated with PVRi (r∈=∈0.92, 95 % CI 0.79-0.97, p∈<∈0.0001). Regression of VVCRm and PVRi demonstrated differing lines when separated by reactivity. VVCRm was significantly correlated with VVCRs (r∈=∈0.79, CI 0.48-0.99, p <0.0001). ROC curve analysis showed high accuracy of VVCRm in determining vascular reactivity (VVCR∈=∈0.85 had a sensitivity of 100 % and a specificity of 80 %) with an area under the curve of 0.89 (p∈=∈0.008). Conclusion: Measurement of VVCRm in pediatrics is feasible. Pulmonary vascular non-reactivity may be contribute to ventricular-vascular decoupling in severe PH. Therapeutic intervention to maintain a low vascular afterload in reactive patients may preserve right ventricular functional reserve and delay the onset of RV-PA decoupling. Use of VVCRm may have significant prognostic implication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number81
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 16 2015


  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  • Non-invasive
  • Pediatrics
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Ventricular vascular coupling ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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