Functional assessment of the right ventricle in patients wit
Pulmonary artery hypertension and its consequences still constitutes an underestimated clinical problem in asthma patients and its non-invasive early detection may influence proper treatment.

This study aimed to non-invasively examine the pulmonary artery flow parameters and right ventricular function in patients with asthma of various severity.

The analysis of parameters of echocardiography and first-pass and gated radionuclide angiography, and baseline examination in 31 patients with bronchial asthma and 16 healthy controls.

-- Patients with severe asthma had higher mean pulmonary artery pressure (MPAP) compared to the healthy controls.

-- The subgroup analysis of patients who suffered from asthma in their childhood showed that individuals with severe asthma were characterized by significantly higher MPAP than those with the mild/moderate condition (19.16 ±7.51 mm Hg vs. 5.0 ±1.15 mm Hg).

-- Gated, but not first-pass, radionuclide angiography revealed that individuals with severe asthma were characterized by a lower right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF).

-- Further analysis of the subgroup of patients in whom the initial manifestation of dyspnoea occurred no earlier than 6 years prior to the study showed that the RVEF of individuals with severe asthma was significantly lower compared to those with mild/moderate asthma (39.8 ±4.79% vs. 51.4 ±8.65%).

Conclusively, the pulmonary artery pressure in patients with severe asthma is significantly higher than in healthy individuals; in contrast, these two groups did not differ significantly in terms of the right ventricular echocardiographic characteristics. Gated radionuclide angiography, but not the first-pass technique, allowed for the detection of subtle right ventricular ejection fraction changes in asthma patients.