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Non-invasive measurement of pulmonary arterial pressure in patients with chronic lung disease.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Giornale italiano di cardiologia
Publication Date
Volume
14 Suppl 1
Pages
46–48
Identifiers
PMID: 6534766
Source
Medline

Abstract

Although it is relatively simple to measure pulmonary arterial pressure directly, using a cardiac catheter, the procedure is invasive and carries a very small, but definite risk. This is still the method of choice for most purposes, but is not suitable when it is required to make repeated measurements, as, for instance, when studying the natural history or response to treatment, nor for studies in populations designed to ascertain the prevalence of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Here a non-invasive procedure is needed which should be capable of predicting pulmonary arterial pressure with a high degree of certainty. It should be safe, inexpensive in terms of money and time, and it should not duplicate the information provided by another test. Of the methods currently under trial none are entirely satisfactory. Measurement of the dimensions of the pulmonary artery taken from a radiograph are correlated with pulmonary arterial pressure. The diameter of the descending branch of the right pulmonary artery seems the best measurement to make; but still there is a large variation. Similarly the electrocardiogram, whichever measurements are used, does not predict pulmonary arterial pressure with sufficient accuracy for practical use and the vectorcardiogram offers no improvement in this respect. Echocardiographic recording of movements of the pulmonary valve, and of the dimensions of the right ventricle is possible, but only with much difficulty in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease because of the hyperinflated lungs.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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