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Diagnosis and Assessment

Vonk-Noordegraaf A, Souza R.

Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

 Am J Cardiol 2012;110(6 Suppl):25–31S.

Editor’s note: This article is a review of the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the evaluation of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH). A critical determinant of morbidity and mortality in patients with PH is the function of the right ventricle (RV) in the face of elevated pulmonary artery pressure (PAP). However, assessment of RV function on echocardiography is more difficult than assessment of left ventricular function because of the geometry of the RV. Cardiac MRI may be a better modality for assessing RV function because it is more accurate in evaluating RV volume and ejection fraction than echo. It may also provide additional information, such as RV hypertrophy and mass, stroke volume (SV), and cardiac index, when assessing the adaptation of the RV to high PAP.

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