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Diagnostic Value of Right Pulmonary Artery Distensibility Index in Dogs with Pulmonary Hypertension: Comparison with Doppler Echocardiographic Estimates of Pulmonary Arterial Pressure



Noninvasive diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension (PH) primarily relies upon Doppler echocardiography of tricuspid regurgitation (TR). However, TR might be absent or difficult to measure.


To determine the diagnostic value of right pulmonary artery distensibility (RPAD) index for prediction of Doppler-derived estimates of pulmonary artery (PA) pressure compared to other indices of PH in dogs.


Sixty-nine client-owned dogs with TR.


Prospective observational study. Dogs were allocated to groups according to TR pressure gradient (TRPG): TRPG <36 mmHg (control, n = 22), TRPG 36-50 (n = 16), TRPG 50-75 (n = 14) and TRPG >75 mmHg (n = 17). Right pulmonary artery distensibility index, acceleration time to peak PA flow (AT), AT: ejection time of PA flow (AT:ET) and main PA size: aorta size (MPA:Ao) were calculated in each dog.


Right pulmonary artery distensibility index demonstrated the strongest correlation (r = -0.90; P < .0001) to TRPG followed by MPA:Ao (r = 0.78; P < .0001), AT (r = -0.69; P < .0001) and AT:ET (r = -0.68; P < .0001). RPAD index possessed the most accurate cutoff (<29.5%; Sensitivity [Sn] 0.84, Specificity [Sp] 0.95) to predict TRPG >50 mmHg compared to AT (<53.9 ms; Sn 0.74, Sp 0.87), AT:ET (<0.30; Sn 0.61, Sp 0.97) and MPA:Ao (>1.04; Sn 0.94, Sp 0.74). All intra- and interobserver measurement variabilities exhibited coefficients of variation ≤13%.

Conclusions and clinical importance

Right pulmonary artery distensibility index is an accurate predictor of TRPG and should be particularly useful if TR is absent or difficult to measure.

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