Pulmonary artery enlargement is associated with pulmonary hypertension and decreased survival in severe cystic fibrosis: A cohort study

Academic Article


  • Background Pulmonary artery (PA) enlargement, defined as pulmonary artery to ascending aorta diameter ratio (PA:A)>1 on computed tomography (CT), is a marker of pulmonary vascular disease in chronic lung diseases. PA enlargement is prevalent in cystic fibrosis (CF), but its relationship to hemodynamics and prognostic utility in severe CF are unknown. We hypothesized that the PA:A would have utility in identifying pulmonary hypertension (PH) in severe CF and that PA enlargement would be associated with reduced transplant-free survival. Methods We conducted a retrospective study of adults with CF undergoing lung transplant evaluation at a single center between 2000 and 2015. CT, right heart catheterization (RHC), and clinical data were collected. The PA:A was measured from a single CT slice. We measured associations between PA:A and invasive hemodynamic parameters including PH defined as a mPAP ≥25mmHg using adjusted linear and logistic regression models. Kaplan-Meier and adjusted Cox regression models were used to measure associations between PA:A>1, RHC-defined PH, and transplant-free survival in severe CF. Results We analyzed 78 adults with CF that had CT scans available for review, including 44 that also had RHC. RHC-defined PH defined as a mPAP ≥25mmHg was present in 36% of patients with CF undergoing transplant evaluation. The PA:A correlated with mPAP (r = 0.73; 95% CI 3.87–7.80; p<0.001) and PVR (r = 0.42, p = 0.005) and the PA:A>1 was an independent predictor of PH (aOR 4.50; 95% CI 1.05–19.2; p = 0.042). PA:A>1 was independently associated with increased hazards for death or transplant (aHR 2.69; 95% CI 1.41–5.14; P = 0.003). The presence of mPAP ≥25mmHg was independently associated with decreased survival in this cohort. Conclusions PA enlargement is associated with pulmonary hemodynamics and PH in severe CF. PA enlargement is an independent prognostic indicator of PH and decreased survival in this population.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
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    Author List

  • Zouk AN; Gulati S; Xing D; Wille KM; Rowe SM; Michael Wells J
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 2