Echocardiographic assessment of pulmonary hypertension: standard operating procedure

Eur Respir Rev. 2012 Sep 1;21(125):239-48. doi: 10.1183/09059180.00003912.


Patients with suspected pulmonary hypertension (PH) should be evaluated using a multimodality approach to ensure that they receive a correct diagnosis. The series of investigations required includes clinical evaluation, noninvasive imaging techniques and right heart catheterisation (considered to be the "gold standard" for the diagnosis of PH). Current guidelines recommend that a detailed echocardiographic assessment is performed in all patients with suspected PH. In this review we summarise a protocol adopted by the National Pulmonary Hypertension Centres of UK and Ireland and approved by the British Society of Echocardiography for the evaluation of these patients. The views and measurements described are recommended for diagnosis, assisting in prognosis and providing a noninvasive means of following disease progression or response to therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography, Doppler / standards*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color / standards
  • Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Guideline Adherence / standards
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ventricular Function, Right