Echocardiography in pediatric pulmonary hypertension

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2013 Sep;14(3):157-64. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2012.12.008. Epub 2013 Feb 12.


Pediatric pulmonary hypertension is a complicated disease with multiple etiologies and high mortality. Echocardiography is at the forefront of evaluation as a noninvasive, portable imaging modality that can yield diagnostic and prognostic information regarding this disease. Echocardiography is known for its ability to give an anatomic assessment of the heart and proximal blood vessels. With the additional use of Doppler echocardiography and myocardial motion assessment, the effects of elevated pulmonary pressures on the heart can be evaluated. This can allow for estimation of pulmonary artery pressures and resistances and assessment of ventricular systolic and diastolic functions. However despite its advantages, echocardiography is still an indirect assessment of pulmonary hypertension and not a substitute for cardiac catheterization. The purpose of this review is to discuss common techniques for the assessment of pulmonary hypertension by echocardiography as well as their limitations.

Keywords: Doppler; Echocardiography; Pediatric; Pulmonary artery pressure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Child
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / classification
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Vascular Resistance / physiology
  • Ventricular Function, Right / physiology
  • Ventricular Pressure / physiology