Pulmonary arterial hypertension: the key role of echocardiography

Chest. 2005 May;127(5):1836-43. doi: 10.1378/chest.127.5.1836.


Given the nonspecific nature of its early symptoms and signs, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is often diagnosed in its advanced stages. Although clinical assessment is essential when initially evaluating patients with suspected PAH, echocardiography is a key screening tool in the diagnostic algorithm. It not only provides an estimate of pulmonary pressure at rest and during exercise, but it may also help to exclude any secondary causes of pulmonary hypertension, predict the prognosis, monitor the efficacy of specific therapeutic interventions, and detect the preclinical stage of the disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Blood Pressure
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / classification
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function, Right