Medicine (St Vincent's) - Theses

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    Advanced characterisation of pulmonary hypertension: Assessment of right ventricular diastolic function and pulmonary artery wave reflection
    Murch, Stuart David ( 2016)
    Pulmonary hypertension is the net haemodynamic consequence of a wide variety of underlying pathologies. As disease progresses, right ventricular systolic dysfunction may develop. However, by the time this occurs, prognosis is poor. Like the situation in the left ventricle, chronically increased right ventricular afterload first leads to right ventricular hypertrophy and hypothetically, diastolic dysfunction. Although there is some evidence from animal models for this, human data is limited. Theoretically, the identification of right ventricular diastolic dysfunction may assist in the earlier diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. This thesis provides evidence that right ventricular diastolic dysfunction does exist in the setting of pulmonary hypertension, that it occurs earlier than systolic dysfunction, and that it can be identified by invasive pressure measurement in the right ventricular cavity. Although echocardiography provides a useful way to assess left ventricular diastolic function, data presented here will show that currently available echocardiographic measurement of right ventricular diastolic function may not be sensitive enough to detect abnormal function. The secondary hypothesis tested is that a pressure/time analysis of pulmonary wave reflection can provide additional information in the assessment of patients with pulmonary hypertension. Data suggests that a metric of wave reflection, the pulmonary augmentation index, is closely associated with standard measures of right ventricular afterload, and therefore may not add value. However, the time to wave reflection is related to the site of obstruction in the pulmonary circulation and could theoretically assist in identifying disease aetiology.