Identification of Left Ventricle Failure on Pulmonary Artery CTA: Diagnostic Significance of Decreased Aortic & Left Ventricle Enhancement.
Emerg Radiol. 2017 Mar 29. doi: 10.1007/s10140-017-1494-6. [Epub ahead of print] Chaturvedi A1, Thompson JP2, Kaproth-Joslin K2, Hobbs SK2, Schwarz KQ3, Krishnamoorthy VK3, Chaturvedi A2, Baran T2.
PURPOSE: This study aimed to identify findings on non-ECG-gated CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) indicating decreased left ventricle (LV) systolic function, later confirmed by echocardiogram.
METHODS: After obtaining institutional review board approval, review was performed of emergency department (ED) patients who had CTPA and follow-up echocardiogram within 48 h, over 18 months. Patients with pulmonary embolus, suboptimal CTPA, arrhythmias or pericardial tamponade were excluded. One hundred thirty-seven patients were identified and divided into cases (LVEF <40%, n = 52) and controls (LVEF >50%, n = 85). Two reviewers performed these analyses: measurement of enhancement in main pulmonary artery (MPA), LV, and aorta; subjective enhancement of LV and aorta (Ao) relative to MPA using a four-point Likert scale; contrast transit time (TD) to trigger CTPA and LV short & long axis dimensions. When available, the most recent N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level was recorded.
RESULTS: Decreased aortic and LV subjective enhancement were the best predictors of LV systolic dysfunction. For Ao/MPA ratio, an optimal cutoff value of 0.20 resulted in a sensitivity of 0.54 and specificity of 0.93 (AUC = 0.83, 0.78-0.88 95% CI). A threshold of 86.7 HU for Ao enhancement resulted in a sensitivity of 0.68 and specificity of 0.90 (AUC = 0.82, 0.77-0.88 95% CI). A LV short axis diameter of more than 54.3 mm had a sensitivity of 0.62 and specificity of 0.98 (AUC = 0.88, 0.83-0.92 95% CI). For the LV long axis diameter, a cutoff of 87.5 mm resulted in a sensitivity of 0.66 and specificity of 0.84 (AUC = 0.78, 0.72-0.84 95% CI). With bolus timing, cases had a longer TD (13.4 vs. 10.4 s, p < 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: Unsuspected LV systolic dysfunction can be recognized on a CTPA by identification of decreased aortic enhancement, LV enlargement and increased TD. This has important diagnostic implications for the patient presenting with shortness of breath, chest pain, or dyspnea.