Objectives There is increasing recognition that pulmonary artery stiffness (PAS) is an important determinant of right ventricular afterload in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular dysfunction are usually being found in patients with heart failure (HF). We aim to investigate the effect of pulmonary artery stiffness in patients with heart failure.
Methods 80 consecutive patients with HF and 30 age and gender matched normal controls were prospectively recruited and underwent standard echocardiography. PAS was calculated by maximal frequency shift of pulmonary flow divided by the acceleration time of pulmonary flow.
Results PAS was significantly increased in patients with HF compared with normal controls (14.91 ± 3.15 HKz/sec vs 20.62 ± 6.92 HKz/sec, p < 0.01). There was no significant difference of PAS between patients with preserved ejection fraction and without preserved ejection fraction (22.51 ± 7.71 HKz/sec vs 19.92 ± 5.84 HKz/sec, p = 0.125). PAS was significantly correlated with left ventricular ejection fraction (r = -0.318, p < 0.001), E/E’ (r = 0.46, p < 0.0001), tricuspid annulus systolic velocity (r = -0.432, p < 0.0001), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) (r = 0.445, p < 0.001), left atrial volume (r = 0.283, p < 0.05), E/A ratio of mitral flow (r = -0.398, p < 0.001), DT (r = 0.308, p < 0.01), pulmonary artery systolic pressure (r = 0.58, p < 0.0001), left atrial ejection force (r = 0.47, p < 0.0001).
Conclusions Increased pulmonary artery stiffness occurs in patients with HF, and is associated with the development of left and right ventricular dysfunctions in patients with heart failure.