Relationship between pulmonary artery acceleration time and pulmonary artery pressures in infants

Jessica S. Gaulton, Laura M. Mercer-Rosa, Andrew C. Glatz, Erik A. Jensen, Valerie Capone, Courtney Scott, Scott M. Appel, Jason Z. Stoller, María V. Fraga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Pulmonary artery acceleration time measured by echocardiography inversely correlates with pulmonary artery pressures in adults and children older than 1 year of age. There is a paucity of data investigating this relationship in young children, particularly among preterm infants. Objective: To characterize the relationship between pulmonary artery acceleration time (PAAT) and pulmonary artery pressures in infants. Design/Methods: Patients ≤ 1 year of age at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia between 2011 and 2017 were reviewed. Infants with congenital heart disease were excluded, except those with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), atrial septal defect (ASD), or ventricular septal defect (VSD). Linear regression analysis was used to assess the correlation between PAAT measured by echocardiography and systolic pulmonary artery pressure, mean pulmonary artery pressure, and indexed pulmonary vascular resistance from cardiac catheterization. Results: Fifty-seven infants were included, of which 61% were preterm and 49% had a diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The median postmenstrual age and weight at catheterization were 51.1 weeks (IQR 35.8–67.9 weeks) and 4400 g (IQR 3100–6500 g), respectively. Forty-four infants (77%) had a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). There was a weak inverse correlation between PAAT with mPAP (r = −0.35, P = 0.01), sPAP (r = −0.29, P = 0.03), and PVRi (r = −0.29, P = 0.03). Conclusion: There is a weak inverse relationship between PAAT and pulmonary artery pressures. This relationship is less robust in our population of infants with a high incidence of PDAs compared to previous studies in older children. Thus, PAAT may be less clinically meaningful for diagnosing pulmonary arterial hypertension in infants, particularly those with PDAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1524-1531
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Doppler echocardiography
  • patent ductus arteriosus
  • pediatric echocardiography
  • pulmonary artery
  • pulmonary artery hypertension
  • pulmonary hypertension


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