Relation of Right Atrial Volume, Systemic Venous Dimensions, and Flow Patterns to Right Atrial Pressure in Infants and Children

Shivani G. Patel, Peter Woolman, Ling Li, Mary Craft, David A. Danford, Shelby Kutty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Echocardiographic assessment of right atrial (RA) volume, inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter, and hepatic vein flow velocity independently correlate with the RA pressure by direct catheter measurement in adults. We prospectively collected invasive RA pressure measurements and echocardiographic data in infants and young children with the goal of developing a predictive model to noninvasively determine normal RA pressure. All subjects had a central venous catheter through which RA pressure could be transduced. Specific inclusion criteria consisted of (1) biventricular heart, (2) absence of inotropes, (3) sinus rhythm, and (4) at least 24 hours from surgery. Two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE)-Doppler and 3DE-Doppler were used to measure RA volume, systemic venous diameters, and flow velocity. Regression equations of RA pressure with RA volume, systemic venous size, and flow velocity were explored. Of 46 studies, 43 (93%) had echocardiograms adequate for analysis. RA pressure did not correlate with body surface area or age (p = 0.69, p = 0.87). The mean indexed RA volume by 3DE-Doppler was significantly higher than by 2DE (p <0.005). On multivariable analysis, only IVC systolic flow velocity and systolic 2D Simpson's derived indexed RA volume demonstrated significant independent correlation with RA pressure, resulting in the equation: RA pressure (mm Hg) = 7.35 – 0.0025 × IVC systolic flow velocity (cm/s) + 0.119 × indexed RA volume by systolic 2D Simpson's (ml/m2). RA pressure did not show correlation with systemic venous diameters or systolic and diastolic flow velocities in the SVC and hepatic veins. In conclusion, regression incorporating 2DE-derived RA volume and IVC systolic flow velocity provided the best noninvasive estimate of normal RA pressure in infants and children. The model derived requires validation in an independent sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1473-1478
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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