IMproving PULmonary hypertension Screening by Echocardiography: IMPULSE

Oliver Graham Slegg, James A. Willis, Fiona Wilkinson, Joseph Sparey, Christopher Basil Wild, Jennifer Rossdale, Robert Mackenzie Ross, John D. Pauling, Kevin Carson, Sri Raveen Kandan, David Oxborough, Daniel Knight, Oliver James Peacock, Jay Suntharalingam, John Gerard Coghlan, Daniel Augustine

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Background: The World symposium on Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) has proposed that PH be defined as a mean Pulmonary Artery Pressure (mPAP) >20mmHg as assessed by Right Heart Catheterisation (RHC). Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE) is an established screening tool used for suspected PH. International guidelines recommend a multi-parameter assessment of the TTE PH probability although effectiveness has not been established using real world data.

Study aims: To determine accuracy of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) TTE probability algorithm in detecting PH in patients attending a UK PH centre. To identify echocardiographic markers and revised algorithms to improve the detection of PH in those with low/intermediate BSE/ESC TTE PH probability.

Method: TTE followed by RHC (within 4 months after) was undertaken in patients for suspected but previously unconfirmed PH. BSE/ESC PH TTE probabilities were calculated alongside additional markers of right ventricular (RV) longitudinal and radial function, and RV diastolic function. A refined IMPULSE algorithm was devised and evaluated in patients with low and/or intermediate ESC / BSE TTE PH probability.

Results: Of 310 patients assessed, 236 (76%) had RHC-confirmed PH (average mPAP 42.8±11.7). Sensitivity and specificity for detecting PH using the BSE/ESC recommendations was 89% and 68%, respectively. 36% of those with low BSE/ESC TTE probability had RHC-confirmed PH and BSE/ESC PH probability parameters did not differ amongst those with and without PH in the low probability group. Conversely, RV free wall longitudinal strain (RVFWLS) was lower in patients with vs. without PH in low BSE/ESC probability group (-20.6%±4.1 vs -23.8±3.9%) (PConclusion: Existing TTE PH probability guidelines lack sensitivity to detect patients with milder haemodynamic forms of PH. Combining additional TTE makers assessing RV radial, longitudinal and diastolic function enhance identification of milder forms of PH, particularly in those who have a low BSE/ ESC TTE PH probability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages13
JournalEcho Research and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding: Not applicable.


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