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Evaluation of Pulmonary Perfusion Heterogeneity and Compliance in Patients With Pulmonary Hypertension Using Positron Emission Tomography Imaging

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified March 2017 by Massachusetts General Hospital
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Robert Scott Harris, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier:
First received: October 25, 2011
Last updated: March 22, 2017
Last verified: March 2017
The purpose of the study is to find out how the blood flow changes in the lungs of people with pulmonary hypertension compared to healthy individuals without pulmonary hypertension. We would like to find out if there are differences in how blood flows when subjects are given a drug to dilate (widen) the arteries in their lungs and when they breathe extra oxygen. We will compare the results to when subjects don't receive any drug or extra oxygen. We hope that knowing about these differences will help us to better understand pulmonary hypertension and how to diagnose it earlier.

Condition Intervention
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Other: CT imaging, functional PET imaging

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: No masking
Primary Purpose: Other
Official Title: Evaluation of Pulmonary Perfusion Heterogeneity and Compliance in Patients With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Using Functional Positron Emission Tomography Imaging

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Coefficient of variation of perfusion [ Time Frame: One imaging visit lasting up to 3 hours ]
    Images will be generated with positron emission tomography that will be used to calculate the degreee to which the blood flow in the lung is patchy rather than smooth. The statistical measure of this is called the coefficient of variation.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Vascular compliance [ Time Frame: One imaging visit lasting up to 3 hours ]
    Positron emission tomography images will be obtained during different phases of the heart beat that will show how the blood vessels in the lung stretch with ejection of blood from the heart. The change in volume of the blood vessels is called vascular compliance and is a measure of blood vessel stiffness.

  • Perfusion gradient [ Time Frame: One imaging visit lasting up to 3 hours ]
    From the images of blood flow in the lung, the change in mean blood flow from the bottom of the lung to the top will be calculated. Normally, there is more blood flow at the bottom of the lung compared to the top, but this can be changed with lung disease.

Estimated Enrollment: 15
Study Start Date: February 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date: September 2017 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: pulmonary hypertension
Patients with Group I pulmonary arterial hypertension and exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension to undergo CT imaging, functional PET imaging
Other: CT imaging, functional PET imaging
Physiology study using CT and functional PET imaging with 13NN and 11CO as radiotracers; images obtained before and after administration of inhaled nitric oxide and balance 80% oxygen as pulmonary vasodilators
Active Comparator: healthy controls
healthy adults to serve as controls and to undergo the same study procedures: CT imaging, functional PET imaging
Other: CT imaging, functional PET imaging
Physiology study using CT and functional PET imaging with 13NN and 11CO as radiotracers; images obtained before and after administration of inhaled nitric oxide and balance 80% oxygen as pulmonary vasodilators

Detailed Description:
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) refers to abnormalities in the pulmonary vasculature associated with a diverse group of disorders. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies pulmonary hypertension into five groups, with Group I comprising pulmonary arterial hypertension (formerly referred to as "primary pulmonary hypertension"). Although not currently a part of the WHO classification, exercise-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension (EIPAH), defined by normal pulmonary artery pressures at rest and elevation of pulmonary pressures with exercise, is increasingly recognized as a distinct clinical entity. In some patients, exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension may represent a precursor for developing an established elevation in pulmonary pressures at rest that defines PAH. Functional PET imaging has not previously been utilized to quantify perfusion and vascular compliance in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. The overall goal of this study is to evaluate regional lung perfusion, perfusion heterogeneity, and vascular compliance in patients with both exercise-induced and resting pulmonary hypertension using functional positron emission tomography imaging. Ultimately, if quantifiable differences between healthy subjects and patients with PAH are detected with 13NN and 11CO labeled PET, functional PET imaging may provide a useful imaging modality in early diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension and monitoring response to therapy. In this pilot study, we will recruit 10 adult patients with pulmonary hypertension (5 with PAH and 5 with EIPAH) who are on stable PAH-specific therapy (if any), and 5 healthy controls.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • General

    1. A signed and dated written informed consent is obtained from the subject.
    2. The subject is capable of giving informed consent, which includes compliance with the requirements and restrictions listed in the consent form.
    3. Available to complete the study.
    4. Able to lie flat and able to perform a 30 second breath hold.
  • Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

    1. Subject is male or female aged = or > 18 years of age and < or = 70 years.
    2. Subject is diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension (WHO Group I, by right heart catheterization, mean PA pressure > 25 and PCWP < 15) or exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension (by right heart catheterization + Level III cardiopulmonary exercise testing, mean PAP > 30 and PCWP < 20 during exercise, but normal at rest), with the most recent of above diagnostic tests taking place within 12 months of study entry.
    3. If patient has been on PAH-specific therapy, the therapy (agent and dose) has been unchanged for at least 3 months.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • General

    1. FEV1 and/or TLC < 70% predicted
    2. PCWP > 15 mm Hg
    3. Inability to perform the study (by primary MD or investigator assessment)
    4. Subjects who have a past or present disease, which as judged by the Investigators may affect the outcome of this study
    5. The subject has suspected history of drugs or alcohol abuse within the six months prior to the screening visit.
    6. The subject has a positive pregnancy test.
    7. The subject is unable to perform the respiratory manoeuvres necessary for the exam.
    8. The subject has been exposed to a radiation dose over the past year that, when added to the radiation dose expected in this study, would exceed permissible yearly exposure as determined by the MGH radiation safety committee.
  • Subjects with Pulmonary Hypertension

    1. Subject with clinical instability in the judgment of the investigator, or hospitalization for progression of pulmonary hypertension or right heart failure in the three months prior to the study.
    2. Subjects in whom PAH therapy has been escalated (additional agent started) within 3 months of enrolment.
    3. Subject with diagnosis of active tuberculosis, lung cancer, clinically overt bronchiectasis, allergic rhinitis, asthma, or COPD.
    4. Subject that had a respiratory tract infection in the 4 weeks prior to the screening visit and throughout the duration of the study.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01461343

United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital Recruiting
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Contact: R. Scott Harris, M.D.    617-726-9429      
Principal Investigator: R. Scott Harris, M.D.         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator: R. Scott Harris, M.D. Massachusetts General Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: Robert Scott Harris, M.D., Associate Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT01461343     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2011-P-001880/1
Study First Received: October 25, 2011
Last Updated: March 22, 2017

Keywords provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:
pulmonary hypertension, PET imaging, CT/PET

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Hypertension, Pulmonary
Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases processed this record on May 24, 2017