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Open AccessArticle

Incremental Value of ePLAR—The Echocardiographic Pulmonary to Left Atrial Ratio in the Assessment of Sub-Massive Pulmonary Emboli

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia
Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4032, Australia
The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, QLD 4032, Australia
Redcliffe District Hospital, Redcliffe, QLD 4032, Australia
The Wesley Hospital, Brisbane, QLD 4066, Australia
Genesis Care, Auchenflower, QLD 4066, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(1), 247;
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 10 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 17 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonology)
Background: Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is characterized hemodynamically by abrupt obstruction in trans-pulmonary blood flow. The echocardiographic Pulmonary to Left Atrial ratio (ePLAR, tricuspid regurgitation Vmax/mitral E/e’) has been validated as a non-invasive surrogate for trans-pulmonary gradient (TPG) that accurately differentiates pre-capillary from post-capillary chronic pulmonary hypertension. This study assessed ePLAR as an incremental echocardiographic assessment tool compared with traditional measures of right ventricular pressure and function. Methods: In total, 110 (57.4 ± 17.6 years) patients with confirmed sub-massive pulmonary emboli with contemporaneous echocardiograms (0.3 ± 0.9 days) were compared with 110 age-matched controls (AMC). Results: Tricuspid velocities were higher than AMC (2.6 ± 0.6 m/s vs. 2.4 ± 0.3 m/s, p < 0.05), although still consistent with “normal” right ventricular systolic pressures (34.2 ± 13.5 mmHg vs. 25 ± 5.3 mmHg, p < 0.05) with lower mitral E/e’ values (8.2 ± 3.8 vs. 10.8 ± 5.1, p < 0.05). ePLAR values were higher than AMC (0.36 ± 0.14 m/s vs. 0.26 ± 0.10, p < 0.05) suggesting significantly elevated TPG. Detection of abnormal echocardiographic findings increased from 29% (TRVmax ≥ 2.9 m/s) and 32% (reduced tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion) to 70% with ePLAR ≥ 0.3 m/s. Conclusions: Raised ePLAR values in acute sub-massive pulmonary embolism suggest elevated trans-pulmonary gradients even in the absence of acutely increased pulmonary artery pressures. ePLAR dramatically increases the sensitivity of echocardiography for detection of hemodynamic perturbations in sub-massive pulmonary embolism patients, which may offer clinical utility in diagnosis and management. View Full-Text
Keywords: pulmonary embolus; echocardiography; ePLAR pulmonary embolus; echocardiography; ePLAR
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Scalia, I.G.; Scalia, W.M.; Hunter, J.; Riha, A.Z.; Wong, D.; Celermajer, Y.; Platts, D.G.; Fitzgerald, B.T.; Scalia, G.M. Incremental Value of ePLAR—The Echocardiographic Pulmonary to Left Atrial Ratio in the Assessment of Sub-Massive Pulmonary Emboli. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 247.

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