By Eric Barnes, staff writer
November 11, 2010

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Pulmonary CT angiography (CTA) could potentially replace a biomarker used to assess right ventricular dysfunction (RVD), according to a novel study to be presented on Sunday by researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Resident Thomas Henzler, MD, won a trainee research prize for the study, which will show how signs of right heart strain at pulmonary CTA, especially right ventricular/left ventricular volume (RV/LVvolume), accurately predict RVD and also correlate with N-terminal prohormone brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) levels.

NT-pro-BNP is increasingly used as a biomarker of right ventricular dysfunction in patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE). The study looked at 557 patients with clinically suspected PE who underwent routine, nongated pulmonary CT angiography, followed by echocardiography evaluation for RVD within 24 hours. CT measurements and NT-pro-BNP serum levels were compared with echocardiography, which served as the reference standard for assessing right ventricular dysfunction.

Signs of right heart strain at pulmonary CT angiography, especially RV/LVvolume, accurately predict RVD in acute PE patients and were well-correlated with serum NT-pro-BNP levels, Henzler will report.

RV/LVvolume measurements in nongated CT angiography can be used to assess RVD at the same time as a PE diagnosis. In fact, CT could replace NT-pro-BNP as a biomarker for RVD, according to Henzler.

Last Updated np 11/9/2010 12:15:14 PM

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