Echocardiographic indexes for the non-invasive evaluation of pulmonary hemodynamics

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2010 Mar;23(3):225-39; quiz 332-4. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2010.01.003.


Ultrasound imaging has continuously developed over recent years, leading to the development of several novel echocardiographic indexes. Among these, of particular interest are those that focus on pulmonary hemodynamics, because they not only improve both sensitivity and specificity in the echocardiographic evaluation of pulmonary pressures (systolic, mean, and diastolic), but can also be used to estimate other pulmonary hemodynamic parameters, such as pulmonary vascular resistance, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, and pulmonary capacitance and impedance. Such parameters can provide important diagnostic and prognostic information in patients with heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary arterial hypertension and in every patient with suspected pulmonary impairment. In this review, the authors present a comprehensive overview of the echocardiographic indexes involved in pulmonary hemodynamic evaluation and discuss the applications of these indexes in the clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Determination / methods*
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Circulation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity