Pulmonary hypertension and elevated transpulmonary gradient in patients with mitral stenosis.


BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: Pulmonary hypertension frequently complicates mitral stenosis, with a subset of these patients exhibiting pressures well in excess of their mitral valve hemodynamics. The prevalence of this condition and its impact on clinical outcome following percutaneous balloon mitral commissurotomy (PBMC) is unknown. METHODS: The transpulmonary gradient (TPG) was measured in 317 patients undergoing PBMC; patients were subsequently defined as having either an appropriate or excessive TPG (< or =15 mmHg or >15 mmHg, respectively). Twenty-two patients were excluded due to valvuloplasty-related significant mitral regurgitation. The remaining 295 patients (250 females, 45 males; mean age 52 +/- 13 years) were prospectively followed up, with each patient underwent serial echocardiography. RESULTS: Among the patients, 214 (73%) had pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary artery pressure >25 mmHg) and 55 (19%) also had an elevated TPG. Females were almost fivefold more likely than males to have an elevated TPG (p = 0.003). Patients with an elevated TPG had a worse mean NYHA functional class than those with a normal TPG (3.0 +/- 0.5 versus 2.7 +/- 0.6, p = 0.01), while the mitral valve area (MVA) was slightly smaller in patients with an elevated TPG (1.0 +/- 0.2 versus 1.1 +/- 0.2 cm2, p = 0.003). All patients demonstrated a significant increase in MVA after commissurotomy (final MVA 1.7 +/- 0.6 cm2, p < 0.001 for elevated TPG; 1.8 +/- 0.4 cm2, p < 0.001 for normal TPG), and the NYHA class at six months was improved for all patients (2.8 +/- 0.6 versus 1.6 +/- 0.7, p < 0.001). The improvements in NYHA class, TPG and MVA were sustained at 36 months. CONCLUSION: Pulmonary hypertension with elevated TPG occurs in patients with mitral stenosis, and is significantly more common in females. Despite worse symptoms and higher right-sided pressures, PBMC is equally successful in patients with a normal TPG, and provides sustained benefit for up to 36 months after the procedure.







Richard Andrew Krasuski

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Richard Krasuski is Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Center at Duke University Medical Center, the Director of Hemodynamic Research, and the Medical Director of the CTEPH Program. He is considered a thought leader in the fields of pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease. His research focus is in epidemiologic and clinical studies involving patients with pulmonary hypertension and patients with congenital heart disease. He is involved in multiple multicenter studies through the Alliance for Adult Research in Congenital Cardiology (AARCC). He has also helped to develop multiple research databases in these patient populations. He is Co-PI in the upcoming EPIPHANY Study examining the impact of medical and transcatheter interventions on RV-PA coupling in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Over his career he has mentored over 80 students, residents and fellows and has published over 300 peer reviewed publications, book chapters and meeting abstracts. He is also the Chief Editor of Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension and on the editorial boards of several leading medical journals.


Andrew Wang

Professor of Medicine

Structural heart diseases, including valvular heart disease, hemodynamics, infective endocarditis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy


John Kevin Harrison

Professor of Medicine

Thomas Michael Bashore

Professor Emeritus of Medicine

The major areas of research involve mostly hemodynamic and imaging research:
1. Valvular heart disease.
2. Adult congenital heart disease.
3. Pulmonary Hypertension.
4. Complex cardiovascular problems.

The Valvular Disease Program and Adult Congenital Program are nationally recognized, and many trainees have gone on to academic careers at a number of universities. Dr. Bashore is now or recently has been on the Editorial Boards of Circulation, the American Journal of Cardiology, Cardiac Catheterization and Intervention, the Journal of Heart Valve Disease, the American Heart Journal, Cardiology Today, the Journal of Invasive Cardiology and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. He was formerly director of the Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories for 10 years, and then the Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program for 12 years. He is currently the Clinical Chief of the Division of Cardiology. He is a member and/or chairman of numerous committees of the American College of Cardiology and author of over 250 manuscripts, over 70 book chapters and reviews and 3 books. Dr. J. Kevin Harrison, Dr. Andrew Wang, Dr. Tom Gehrig, Dr. Todd Kiefer, Dr. Michael Sketch and Dr. Cary Ward complement the research team along with a variety of research personnel. Currently research is focused on the percutaneous treatment of structural heart disease and adult congenital heart disease.

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