Pulmonary hypertension is defined as an increase in mean pulmonary arterial pressure ≥25 mm Hg at rest and occurs in a majority of patients with heart failure. Diagnostic imaging targets the right ventricle and the pulmonary vasculature. Although echocardiography is cost-effective for screening and follow-up, right heart catheterization is still mandatory to differentiate pre- from post-capillary disease and to directly measure pressure and flow. An important goal is to rule out chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. This diagnostic step can be achieved by perfusion scintigraphy, whereas computed tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance have become indispensable ancillary methods for the diagnostic allocation to other World Health Organization subtypes of pulmonary hypertension.
Copyright © 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.