News | July 02, 2012

Six-minute Walk Stress Echo is Practical, Cost-effective to Evaluate Patients With Connective Tissue Disease

July 2, 2012 — Researchers have announced the results of a study that shows the utility of a six minute walk stress echocardiogram for the early detection of exercise-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension (EIPAH) in patients with connective tissue disease (CTD). Earlier treatment of these patients may improve the prognosis for CTD, as those who develop EIPAH may be at risk for resting pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in the future.

A poster based on the study will be presented on Sunday, July 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the exhibit and poster hall during the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) 23rd Annual Scientific Sessions. Investigators will be available in the hall from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The ASE Scientific Sessions will be held from June 27 to July 3, 2012, at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD.

“Doppler echocardiography is currently the recommended screening modality to diagnose PAH; however, in about two-thirds of cases, the pulmonary vascular bed had been already impaired in patients diagnosed to have PAH at rest. To diagnose PAH earlier, it is helpful to detect exercise-induced PAH (EIPAH) by stress echocardiography. Our study shows the efficacy of 6-minute walk stress echocardiography for this purpose. In our study, we were able to detect EIPAH in CTD patients who did not have PAH when at rest. Six-minute walk stress echocardiography is an easy, inexpensive and useful tool for detecting EIPAH, which could be very early-stage PAH,” said primary investigator Junko Hotchi.

Hirotsugu Yamada, Susumu Nishio, Noriko Tomita, Shuji Hayashi, Mika Bando, Rina Tamai, Maya Nakagawa, Daichi Hirota, Yukina Hirata, Kozue Ogasawara, Sachiko Bando, Takayuki Ise, Toshiyuki Niki, Koji Yamaguchi, Yoshio Taketani, Takashi Iwase, Takeshi Soeki, Tetsuzo Wakatsuki, and Masataka Sata, all of Tokushima University Hospital, Tokushima, Japan, and Kenya Kusunose of the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, were also part of the team that conducted the study, which found EIPAH in 29 out of a 109 patient study group.

For more information: www.asecho.org

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