Background: Pulmonary transit time (PTT) obtained from contrast echocardiography is a marker of global cardiopulmonary function. Pulmonary blood volume (PBV), derived from PTT, may be a noninvasive surrogate for left-sided filling pressures, such as pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP). We sought to assess the relationship between PBV obtained from contrast echocardiography and PAWP. Methods: Participants were adult survivors of childhood cancer that had contrast echocardiography performed nearly simultaneously with right-heart catheterization. PTT was derived from time-intensity curves of contrast passage through the right ventricle (RV) and left atrium (LA). PBV relative to overall stroke volume (rPBV) was estimated from the product of PTT and heart rate during RV-LA transit. PAWP was obtained during standard right-heart catheterization. The Spearman correlation coefficient was used to assess the relationship between rPBV and PAWP. Results: The study population consisted of 7 individuals who had contrast echocardiography and right-heart catheterization within 3 hours of each other. There was a wide range of right atrial (1–17 mm Hg), mean pulmonary artery (18–42 mm Hg), and PAW pressures (4–26 mm Hg) as well as pulmonary vascular resistance (<1–6 Wood Units). We observed a statistically significant correlation between rPBV and PAWP (r =.85; P =.02). Conclusion: Relative PBV derived from contrast echocardiography correlates with PAWP. If validated in larger studies, rPBV could potentially be used as an alternative to invasively determine left-sided filling pressure.
- contrast echocardiography
- pulmonary arterial wedge pressure
- pulmonary transit time