CT-measured pulmonary artery diameter as an independent predictor of pulmonary hypertension in cystic fibrosis
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Publication date: 2018-08-23
Pol J Radiol, 2018; 83: 401-406
The role of computed tomography (CT) scan, as a promising prognostic imaging modality in cystic fibrosis (CF), has been widely investigated, focusing on parenchymal abnormalities. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of thoracic vascular parameters on CT to detect pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Material and methods:
CF patients who contemporaneously underwent CT and echocardiography were retrospectively enrolled. Baseline characteristics in addition to pulmonary artery diameter (PAD) and pulmonary to aortic (PA/A) ratio were compared between cohorts with and without PH, based on the results of echocardiography separately in paediatric patients (< 18) and adults (≥ 18).

Of a total 119 CF patients, 39 (32.8%) had PH (paediatric: 23/78, 29.5%, adult: 16/41, 39%). In paediatric CF patients, mean age, HCo3, PCo2, and pulmonary artery diameter (PAD) were significantly higher in the PH group compared to the non-PH group. Mean pulmo however, only PAD remained as the independent predictor of PH based on multivariate analysis (overall: 22.86 mm [±3.86] vs. 18.43 mm [±4.72], p = 0.005, paediatric patients: 22.63 mm [±4.4] vs. 17.10 mm [±4.64], p = 0.03). Using a cut off of 19.25 mm, the diagnostic performance of PAD to detect PH was found to be as follows: sensitivity = 82%, specificity = 70%, and accuracy = 73.1%. No significant difference was demonstrated in PAD between PH and non-PH groups in adults with CF (23.19 [±3.60] vs. 21.34 [±3.49], p = 0.7).

In CF patients, PAD revealed an age-dependent performance to detect PH. PAD can be applied to predict pulmonary hypertension in paediatric CF patients and may be recommended to be routinely measured on follow-up chest CT scan in childhood CF.

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