In the present study, we assessed whether elevated (≥15 mmHg) PCWP (pulmonary capillary wedge pressure) can be detected using the blood pressure response to the Valsalva manoeuvre in a group of elderly patients with various cardiac disorders, including atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease, and healthy elderly controls. The Valsalva manoeuvre was performed in 93 patients (71±4 years) and 28 healthy controls (70±4 years) undergoing right-sided cardiac catheterization. Blood pressure was measured non-invasively with Finapres. PPR (pulse pressure ratio), the ratio of minimum pulse pressure during phase 2 and maximum pulse pressure during phase 1 of the Valsalva manoeuvre, was correlated with PCWP (r=0.63, P<0.001). The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of PPR with elevated PCWP was 0.85 (P<0.001). For PPR=0.62, sensitivity for elevated PCWP was 80%, specificity was 79%, positive predictive value was 76% and negative predictive value was 83%. Correlation of PPR with PCWP and the ability of PPR to detect elevated PCWP was present in atrial fibrillation, heart failure and valvular heart disease. In conclusion, PPR is a sensitive and specific instrument to diagnose elevated PCWP non-invasively in a large group of elderly patients with various cardiac disorders. This makes the Valsalva manoeuvre a useful non-invasive tool for diagnosing heart failure, applicable in elderly patients with common cardiac disorders, such as atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease.

You do not currently have access to this content.