Pulmonary arterial hypertension in children: diagnosis using ratio of main pulmonary artery to ascending aorta diameter as determined by multi-detector computed tomography
The ratio of the transverse diameter of the main pulmonary artery (MPA) to ascending aorta as determined at multi-detector CT is a tool that can be used to assess the pulmonary arterial size in cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension in children.
To establish a ratio of MPA to ascending aorta diameter using multi-detector CT imaging suggestive of pulmonary arterial hypertension in children. We hypothesize that a defined ratio of MPA to ascending aorta is identifiable on multi-detector CT and that higher ratios can be used to reliably diagnose the presence of pulmonary arterial hypertension in children.
Materials and methods
We calculated the multi-detector CT ratio of MPA to ascending aorta diameter in 44 children with documented pulmonary arterial hypertension by right heart catheterization and in 44 age- and gender-matched control children with no predisposing factors for pulmonary arterial hypertension. We compared this multi-detector-CT-determined ratio with the MPA pressure in the study group, as well as with the ratio of MPA to ascending aorta in the control group. A threshold ratio value was calculated to accurately identify children with pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Children with documented primary pulmonary arterial hypertension have a significantly higher ratio of MPA to ascending aorta (1.46) than children without pulmonary arterial hypertension (1.11). A ratio of 1.3 carries a positive likelihood of 34 and a positive predictive value of 97% for the diagnosis of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
The pulmonary arteries were larger in children with pulmonary arterial hypertension than in a control group of normal children. A CT-measured ratio of MPA to ascending aorta of 1.3 should raise the suspicion of pulmonary arterial hypertension in children.
KeywordsAscending aorta Children Computed tomography Main pulmonary artery Pulmonary arterial hypertension Ratio
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