Background: Bronchiectasis may have deleterious effects on cardiac function secondary to pulmonary hypertension (PH). This study was designed to assess cardiac function and determine the prevalence of PH in patients with cystic and cylindrical bronchiectasis.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of patients with bronchiectasis diagnosed by CT scan was conducted at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between December 2005 and January 2007. Pulmonary function tests were performed, arterial blood gas measurements were made, and cardiac function and systolic pulmonary artery pressure (SPAP) were assessed by echocardiography.
Results: Of 94 patients (31% men, n = 29), 62 patients (66%) had cystic bronchiectasis and 32 patients (34%) had cylindrical bronchiectasis. Right ventricular (RV) systolic dysfunction was observed in 12 patients (12.8%), left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction was observed in 3 patients (3.3%), and LV diastolic dysfunction was observed in 11 patients (11.7%); all had cystic bronchiectasis. RV dimensions were significantly greater in the cystic bronchiectasis group, and were positively correlated with SPAP (p < 0.0001) and negatively correlated with Pao2 (p < 0.016). Other hemodynamic variables were not different between groups. PH in 31 patients (32.9%) was significantly greater in patients with cystic bronchiectasis compared with cylindrical bronchiectasis (p = 0.04). In cystic bronchiectasis, SPAP was positively correlated with Paco2 (p = 0.001), and inversely correlated with Pao2 (p = 0.03), diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide percentage (p = 0.02), and FEV1 (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: RV systolic dysfunction and PH were more common than LV systolic dysfunction in bronchiectatic patients. LV diastolic dysfunction was mainly seen in severe PH. We recommend detailed assessment of cardiac function, particularly LV diastolic function, in patients with bronchiectasis.