Subclinical Pulmonary Congestion and Abnormal Hemodynamics in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction

C. Charles Jain, Juerg Tschirren, Yogesh N.V. Reddy, Vojtech Melenovsky, Margaret Redfield, Barry A. Borlaug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The authors hypothesized that quantitative computed tomography (QCT) imaging would reveal subclinical increases in lung congestion in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and that this would be related to pulmonary vascular hemodynamic abnormalities. Background: Gross evidence of lung congestion on physical examination, laboratory tests, and radiography is typically absent among compensated ambulatory patients with HFpEF. However, pulmonary gas transfer abnormalities are commonly observed and associated with poor outcomes. Methods: Patients referred for invasive hemodynamic exercise testing who had undergone chest computed tomography imaging within 1 month were identified (N = 137). A novel artificial intelligence QCT algorithm was used to measure pulmonary fluid content. Results: Compared with control subjects with noncardiac dyspnea, patients with HFpEF displayed increased mean lung density (–758 HU [–793, –709 HU] vs –787 HU [–828, –747 HU]; P = 0.002) and a higher ratio of extravascular lung water to total lung volume (EVLWV/TLV) (1.25 [0.80, 1.76] vs 0.66 [0.01, 1.03]; P < 0.0001) by QCT imaging, indicating greater lung congestion. EVLWV/TLV was directly correlated with pulmonary vascular pressures at rest, with stronger correlations observed during exercise. Patients with increasing tertiles of EVLWV/TLV demonstrated higher mean pulmonary artery pressures at rest (34 ± 11 mm Hg vs 39 ± 14 mm Hg vs 45 ± 17 mm Hg; P = 0.0003) and during exercise (55 ± 17 mm Hg vs 59 ± 17 mm Hg vs 69 ± 22 mm Hg; P = 0.0003). Conclusions: QCT imaging identifies subclinical lung congestion in HFpEF that is not clinically apparent but is related to abnormalities in pulmonary vascular hemodynamics. These data provide new insight into the long-term effects of altered hemodynamics on pulmonary structure and function in HFpEF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • computed tomography
  • congestion
  • exercise
  • heart failure
  • hemodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Subclinical Pulmonary Congestion and Abnormal Hemodynamics in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this