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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 66-71

Screening of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Using Two-Dimensional Transthoracic Doppler Echocardiography in Tertiary Care Hospital in India

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, KLE University's J. N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vinay Mahishale
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, KLE University's J. N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2321-449X.157277

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Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are common and underdiagnosed medical conditions in India. Prevalence of these chronic diseases is high both in rural and urban areas. However, the exact prevalence of PAH in Indian COPD patients is unclear. Comorbid conditions like PAH have a great impact on the outcome of COPD in the form of severity, exacerbations, morbidity, and mortality. Right heart catheterization remains the gold standard test for diagnosis of PAH, but it is invasive and practically not feasible. Aims and objectives: The present study objective was to screen COPD patients for PAH using two-dimensional transthoracic Doppler echocardiography (ECHO) in Tertiary Care Hospital. Results: A total of 2040 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COPD were enrolled in the study. Among these patients, 1509 were males (73.9%), 531 were females (23.06%), and 1428 were known or ex-smokers (70%). None of the females were smokers, but there was a history of biomass fuel exposure for >10 years. As per global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease criteria, mild, moderate, severe, and very severe COPD was noted in 525,629,511, and 375 patients, respectively. When they were screened using ECHO, prevalence of PAH was 41.96% as 856 subjects had PAH. Prevalence of PAH among mild, moderate, severe, and very severe COPD was 23.8%, 34.81%, 48.53%, and 70.4%, respectively. There was a linear relationship between PAH and severity of COPD. Conclusion: PAH is very common in COPD patients in India. As the severity of COPD increased, the frequency and degree of PAH also increased. ECHO is an excellent tool for detection of PAH in COPD patients. All patients with severe to very severe COPD should be routinely screened by ECHO for PAH and with mild to moderate COPD, who have dyspnea out of proportion to their clinical condition should also be screened for PAH.

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