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Defining normal variables of right ventricular size and function in pulmonary hypertension: an echocardiographic study
  1. A López-Candales,
  2. K Dohi,
  3. N Rajagopalan,
  4. K Edelman,
  5. B Gulyasy,
  6. R Bazaz
  1. Cardiovascular Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  1. Dr A López-Candales, University of Pittsburgh, Cardiovascular Institute, Scaife 560, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2582, USA; lopezcandalesa{at}


Background: Right ventricular (RV) fractional area change and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) are recognised methods for assessing RV function. However, the way in which these variables are affected by varying degrees of pulmonary hypertension (PH) has not been well characterised.

Methods: RV end-systolic area (RVESA), RV end-diastolic area (RVEDA), pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) and TAPSE were collected from a database of 190 patients who had been referred to the PH clinic for evaluation.

Results: The mean (SD) age of the study population was 56 (17) years; 82 men were included with a mean (SD) PASP of 54 (33) mm Hg (range 16–150), RVESA of 14 (9) cm2, RVEDA of 24 (9) cm2, RV fractional area change of 44 (18)% and TAPSE of 2.06 (0.69) cm. Receiver-operating characteristic curves identified TAPSE <2.01 cm, RV fractional area change <40.9%, RVESA >12.3 cm2 and RVEDA >23.4 cm2 as abnormal values with PH. Finally stratification of patients into sub-groups according to their PASP allowed means and standard deviations to be reported for each echocardiographic variable.

Conclusion: This analysis provides a range of normal variables of RV size and function, not previously published, that can be used in routine evaluation and follow-up of patients with PH.

  • echocardiography
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • right ventricular areas
  • right ventricular function
  • tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion

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  • Funding: AL-C is supported by an American Society of Echocardiography Outcomes Research Award.

  • Competing interests: None.

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