Relax or Contract: What's Right?
Right heart size and function at baseline and follow-up are important predictors of outcome in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The traditional imaging indicators of right heart health include metrics of right ventricular (RV) systolic function under resting conditions. Transthoracic echocardiography is commonly used; RV size and function are often qualitatively described and may be quantifiable as well. Cardiac MRI is the "standard of reference" for RV morphology, whereas nuclear imaging techniques were used historically and have been employed more recently to measure RV metabolism. These techniques vary in technologic complexity, necessary equipment, and required expertise, yet all generally focus on systolic function of the RV at rest.
- Received September 16, 2013.
- Accepted September 17, 2013.