Abnormal Pulmonary Venous Filling: An Adjunct Feature in the Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiogram Assessment of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background Hypodense filling defects within the pulmonary veins on computed tomography described as pulmonary vein sign (PVS) have been noted in acute pulmonary embolism and shown to be associated with poor prognosis. We evaluated venous flow abnormalities in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) to determine its usefulness in the computed tomography assessment of CTEPH. Methods and Results Blinded retrospective computed tomography analysis of 50 proximal CTEPH cases and 3 control groups-50 acute pulmonary embolism, 50 nonthromboembolic cohort, and 50 pulmonary arterial hypertension. Venous flow reduction was assessed by the following: (1) presence of a filling defect of at least 2 cm in a pulmonary vein draining into the left atrium, and (2) left atrium attenuation (>160 Hounsfield units). PVS was most prevalent in CTEPH. Compared with all controls, sensitivity and specificity of PVS for CTEPH is 78.0% and 85.3% (95% CI, 64.0-88.5 and 78.6-90.6, respectively) versus 34.0% and 70.7% (95% CI, 21.2-48.8 and 62.7-77.8) in acute pulmonary embolism, 8.0% and 62% (95% CI, 2.2-19.2 and 53.7-69.8) in nonthromboembolic and 2.0% and 60% (95% CI, 0.1-10.7 and 51.7-67.9) in pulmonary arterial hypertension. In CTEPH, lobar and segmental arterial occlusive disease was most commonly associated with corresponding absent venous flow. PVS detection was highly reproducible (Kappa=0.96, 95% CI, 0.90-1.01, P<0.001). Conclusions PVS is easy to detect with higher sensitivity and specificity in CTEPH compared with acute pulmonary embolism and is not a feature of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Asymmetric enhancement of pulmonary veins may serve as an additional parameter in the computed tomography assessment of CTEPH and can be used to differentiate CTEPH from pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gopalan, D; Nordgren-Rogberg, A; Le, EPV; Pavey, H; Tarkin, J; Nyrén, S; Auger, W; Lindholm, P

Published Date

  • November 3, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 21

Start / End Page

  • e018075 -

PubMed ID

  • 33115320

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7763423

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2047-9980

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/JAHA.120.018075


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England