Elevated tricuspid regurgitant velocity as a marker for pulmonary hypertension in children with sickle cell disease: Less prevalent and predictive than previously thought?

Academic Article


  • Summary: Although elevated tricuspid regurgitant velocity (TRV), an echocardiographic marker for pulmonary hypertension, has previously been tied to mortality in adult patients with sickle cell disease, recent data demonstrated that it correlates poorly with catheterization findings. We describe the largest echocardiographic evaluation of pediatric patients with sickle cell disease to date, specifically the results of a protocol whereby a TRVZ250 cm/s prompted further evaluation. We investigated if elevated TRV would independently identify patients at risk for increased morbidity. A clinical echocardiographic database containing 630 patients with sickle cell disease was retrospectively reviewed; 120 patients (19%) met inclusion criteria and were compared 1:1 to randomly selected age-matched controls from the same database. By multivariate analysis, the elevated TRV cohort did not differ from controls in likelihood of acute chest episodes, hospitalization, or stroke. The study cohort's mean TRV in fact decreased to 242±33 cm/s at follow-up without a discernible and comprehensive intervention to explain the improvement. Three patients had catheterization-proven pulmonary hypertension. In conclusion, elevated TRV in children with sickle cell disease is less prevalent than previously thought and is not independently associated with increased short-term morbidity.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hebson C; New T; Record E; Oster M; Ehrlich A; Border W; James-Herry A; Kanaan U
  • Start Page

  • 134
  • End Page

  • 139
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 2