Toward the Implementation of Optimal Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Risk Stratification in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

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Background: The 2022 European Society of Cardiology/European Respiratory Society pulmonary hypertension (PH) guidelines incorporate cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging metrics in the risk stratification of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Thresholds to identify patients at estimated 1-year mortality risks of < 5%, 5% to 20%, and > 20% are introduced. However, these cutoff values are mostly single center-based and require external validation. Research Question: What are the discriminative prognostic properties of the current CMR risk thresholds stratifying patients with PAH? Study Design and Methods: We analyzed data from incident, treatment-naïve patients with PAH from the Amsterdam University Medical Centres, Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands. The discriminative properties of the proposed CMR three risk strata were tested at baseline and first reassessment, using the following PH guideline variables: right ventricular ejection fraction, indexed right ventricular end-systolic volume, and indexed left ventricular stroke volume. Results: A total of 258 patients with PAH diagnosed between 2001 and 2022 fulfilled the study criteria and were included in this study. Of these, 172 had follow-up CMR imaging after 3 months to 1.5 years. According to the CMR three risk strata, most patients were classified at intermediate risk (n = 115 [45%]) upon diagnosis. Only 29 (11%) of patients with PAH were classified at low risk, and 114 (44%) were classified at high risk. Poor survival discrimination was seen between risk groups. Appropriate survival discrimination was seen at first reassessment. Interpretation: Risk stratifying patients with PAH with the recent proposed CMR cutoffs from the European Society of Cardiology/European Respiratory Society 2022 PH guidelines requires adjustment because post-processing consensus is lacking and general applicability is limited. Risk assessment at follow-up yielded better survival discrimination, emphasizing the importance of the individual treatment response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • cardiac magnetic resonance
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • right ventricle
  • risk stratification

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