Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common complication in patients suffering from interstitial lung disease (ILD) leading to high morbidity and mortality. Early detection of PH in ILD is essential. The guidelines for detection of PH are mainly based upon publications for other groups of patients at risk for PH. We aimed to evaluate echocardiography as diagnostic tool in ILD-PH.
Methods and Results
We retrospectively analyzed 2D-echocardiography data from patients who underwent right heart catheterization (232 had ILD-PH, 183 with invasive exclusion of PH). Echocardiographic parameters included dimensions, pulmonary artery systolic pressure(PASP), and right ventricular function. The parameters with the highest diagnostic accuracy are listed in table1 (all p-values <0.001). However, detecting PH in ILD by echocardiography is much harder when compared to other etiological groups (Nizza I, II, and IV). The areas under curves for the strongest diagnostic parameter PASP are listed in table2.
Echocardiography is a good diagnostic tool to detect PH in ILD patients. Especially in end stage or pre-transplant patients this non-invasive tool can easily be used. Even when PASP as the parameter with the highest diagnostic accuracy cannot be obtained, other parameters can help to identify patients in whom right heart catheterization should be considered.