Background: Pulmonary hypertension represents a heterogeneous collection of conditions classified into 5 groups according to pathology, pathophysiology and response to treatment. Right heart catheterization is required to classify patients and before initiation of specific therapy for treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. The aim of this study was to determine performance of right heart catheterization in patients prescribed pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)-specific medications. Methods: A retrospective review of administrative claims was performed using the Clinformatics Data Mart database. Individuals with an encounter diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension were identified by ICD-9 codes. An initial encounter diagnosis was defined as continuous enrollment for 12 months without a previous ICD-9 diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. These individuals were followed for 15 months after initial encounter diagnosis. Individuals prescribed PAH-specific medications were assessed for characteristics, comorbidities and performance of echocardiography and right heart catheterization. Results: From 2002 to 2011, 15,772 patients had an outpatient visit with a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. From the initial group, 969 (6.1%) patients were prescribed PAH-specific medications within 1 year of encounter diagnosis. Oral PAH-specific medications were prescribed to 94.2% of patients. In patients prescribed PAH-specific medications, 91% had an echocardiogram within 1 year of encounter diagnosis. Cardiac catheterization was performed in 407 patients (42%) within 3 months of initial prescription and in 583 patients (60.2%) during the entire study period. Conclusion: Performance of right heart catheterization was low in this population-based study of patients with an ICD-9 diagnosis code of pulmonary hypertension and taking PAH-specific medications.
- Cardiac catheterization
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension
- Pulmonary circulation
- Pulmonary hypertension
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine