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16-07-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 12/2020 Open Access

Netherlands Heart Journal 12/2020

The outcome of pulmonary hypertension and its association with pulmonary artery dilatation

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 12/2020
A. L. Duijnhouwer, J. Lemmers, J. Smit, J. van Haren-Willems, H. Knaapen-Hans, T. ten Cate, W. Hagmolen of ten Have, M.-J. de Boer, J. Roos-Hesselink, M. Vonk, A. van Dijk



Pulmonary artery (PA) dilatation is often seen in pulmonary hypertension (PH) and is considered a long-term consequence of elevated pressure. The PA dilates over time and therefore may reflect disease severity and duration. Survival is related to the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis and therefore PA diameter might be used to predict prognosis. This study evaluates the outcome of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and chronic thrombo-embolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and investigates whether PA diameter at the time of diagnosis is associated with mortality.


Patients visiting an outpatient clinic of a tertiary centre between 2004 and 2018 with a cardiac catheterisation confirmed diagnosis of PAH or CTEPH and a CT scan available for PA diameter measurement were included. PA diameter and established predictors of survival were collected (New York Heart Association (NYHA) class, N‑terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level and 6‑min walking distance (6MWD)).


In total 217 patients were included (69% female, 71% NYHA class ≥III). During a median follow-up of 50 (22–92) months, 54% of the patients died. Overall survival was 87% at 1 year, 70% at 3 years and 58% at 5 years. The mean PA diameter was 34.2 ± 6.2 mm and was not significantly different among all the diagnosis groups. We found a weak correlation between PA diameter and mean PA pressure ( r = 0.23, p < 0.001). Male sex, higher age, shorter 6MWD and higher NT-proBNP level were independently associated with mortality, but PA diameter was not.


The prognosis of PAH and CTEPH is still poor. Known predictors of survival were confirmed, but PA diameter at diagnosis was not associated with survival in PAH or CTEPH patients.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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