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Pulm Circ. 2014 Jun;4(2):158-68. doi: 10.1086/675978.

State of the art: advanced imaging of the right ventricle and pulmonary circulation in humans (2013 Grover Conference series).

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Pulmonary Diseases, Institute for Cardiovascular Research (ICaR-VU), VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Physics and Medical Technology, ICaR-VU, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive disease characterized by remodeling and vasoconstriction of the pulmonary vasculature, ultimately leading to right ventricular (RV) failure and death. Recent developments in echocardiography, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and positron emission tomography allow advanced, noninvasive, in vivo assessment of the RV and have contributed to the identification of risk factors, prognostic factors, and monitoring of therapeutic responses in patients with PAH. Although far from reaching its future potential, these techniques have not only provided global RV assessment but also allowed evaluation of changes in cellular and molecular tissue processes, such as metabolism, oxygen balance and ischemia, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. Integrated application of these techniques could provide full insights into the different pathophysiological aspects of a failing RV in the setting of PAH. Recent advances in hybrid imaging have implemented simultaneous measurements of myocardial and vascular interactions and will be one of the most important potential future developments.


cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging; echocardiography; positron emission tomography; pulmonary arterial hypertension; right ventricle

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