Objective: Risk stratification continues to evolve in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Our aim was to further confirm the risk assessment strategy in our cohort and to determine the most reliable model.
Methods: We enrolled incident patients with idiopathic PAH (IPAH), heritable, drug-induced, congenital heart disease (CHD), connective tissue diseases (CTD) subsets, and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) from January 2008 to February 2018. Data from the baseline and subsequent follow-ups within 1 year of diagnosis were included. An abbreviated risk assessment strategy was applied using the following variables: functional class (FC), 6-minute walk distance (6 MWD), N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) or BNP, right atrial (RA) area, pericardial effusion, the mean RA pressure, cardiac index, and mixed venous oxygen saturation. Three different methods were applied to categorize patients.
Results: A total of 189 subjects (46±17 years, 23% male) were included. Sixty-one patients had died. The survival differed significantly between the risk groups both at diagnosis and during the follow-up. Patients with a low-risk profile had a better survival rate. An abbreviated risk assessment tool predicted mortality at early follow-up in the entire group and CHD, CTD subsets, and CTEPH, separately. An overall mortality among risk categories was significantly different according to each categorization method. The most reliable model comprised FC, 6 MWD, NT pro-BNP/BNP, and the RA area at the follow-up.
Conclusion: The abbreviated risk assessment tool may be valid for the PAH subsets and CTEPH. Echocardiographic variables do matter. A model comprising FC, 6 MWD, NT pro-BNP/BNP, and the RA area at the follow-up could be useful for better prognostication.