Pulmonary arterial hypertension is most often diagnosed in its advanced stages because of the nonspecific nature of early symptoms and signs. Although clinical assessment is essential when evaluating patients with suspected pulmonary arterial hypertension, echocardiography is a key screening tool in the diagnostic algorithm. It provides an estimate of pulmonary artery pressure, either at rest or during exercise, and is useful in ruling out secondary causes of pulmonary hypertension. In addition, echocardiography is valuable in assessing prognosis and treatment options, monitoring the efficacy of specific therapeutic interventions, and detecting the preclinical stages of disease.
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