Patients at greatest risk of dying from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) may be identified through cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the information the noninvasive scan provides about the functional level of the heart’s right ventricle, according to research presented at ATS 2019.

Researchers analyzed data on PAH patients who had a cardiac MRI between 2012 and 2017. Analysis found that the majority of the 438 patients had idiopathic/heritable PAH or PAH due to connective tissue disease.

They found that right ventricular end systolic volume, indexed for body surface area and expressed as percent predicted for age and sex (RVESVi%) was able to distinguish between high and low risk patients in one of the cohorts when a threshold of 226.72% was used.1

Researchers concluded that cardiac MRI can be used to identify patients at low (<5%) and high (>10%) risk of mortality at 1-year, adding that stratification of mortality risk in PAH can help doctors provide targeted therapies to those at greatest risk and measure their effectiveness by monitoring right ventricular function.