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A prospective echocardiographic evaluation of pulmonary hypertension in chronic hemodialysis patients in the United States: prevalence and clinical significance

Authors Ramasubbu K, Deswal A, Herdejurgen C, Aguilar D, Frost A

Published 7 September 2010 Volume 2010:3 Pages 279—286


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Kumudha Ramasubbu1, Anita Deswal1, Cheryl Herdejurgen2, David Aguilar1, Adaani E Frost2

1Section of Cardiology, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA; 2Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH), a disease which carries substantial morbidity and mortality, has been reported to occur in 25%–45% of dialysis patients. No prospective evaluation of the prevalence or clinical significance of PH in chronic dialysis patients in the United States (US) has been undertaken.

Methods: Echocardiograms were performed prospectively in chronic hemodialysis patients prior to dialysis at a single dialysis center. PH was defined as a tricuspid regurgitant jet ≥2.5 m/s and “more severe PH” as ≥3.0 m/s. Clinical outcomes recovered were all-cause hospitalizations and death at 12 months.

Results: In a cohort of 90 patients, 42 patients (47%) met the definition of PH. Of those, 18 patients (20%) met the definition of more severe PH. At 12 months, mortality was significantly higher in patients with PH (26%) compared with patients without PH (6%). All-cause hospitalizations were similar in patients with PH and without PH. Echocardiographic findings suggesting impaired left ventricular function and elevated pulmonary capillary wedge pressure were significantly associated with PH.

Conclusion: This prospective cross-sectional study of a single dialysis unit suggests that PH may be present in nearly half of US dialysis patients and when present is associated with increased mortality. Echocardiographic findings demonstrate an association between elevated filling pressures, elevated pulmonary artery pressures, and higher mortality, suggesting that the PH may be secondary to diastolic dysfunction and compounded by volume overload.

Keywords: renal failure, pulmonary hypertension, diastolic dysfunction

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