The imaging of pulmonary hypertension

Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2012 Dec;33(6):535-51. doi: 10.1053/j.sult.2012.06.002.


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is the remarkable hemodynamic consequence of widespread structural and functional changes within the pulmonary circulation. Elevated pulmonary vascular resistance leads to increased mean pulmonary arterial pressure and, ultimately, right ventricular dysfunction. PH carries a poor prognosis and warrants timely and accurate diagnosis for appropriate intervention. The 2008 Dana Point classification system provides the categorical framework currently guiding therapy and surveillance. Radiologic imaging is an essential tool in the detection and diagnostic evaluation of patients with PH. Echocardiography, ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy, multidetector computed tomography, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging provide insights into vascular morphology, pulmonary parenchymal status, cardiac function, and underlying etiology of the disorder. Emerging techniques of functional pulmonary and cardiac imaging hold great promise for the assessment and monitoring of these patients in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Perfusion Imaging / methods
  • Pulmonary Circulation
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Vascular Resistance


  • Contrast Media