Multimodality imaging in pulmonary hypertension

Can J Cardiol. 2015 Apr;31(4):440-59. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2015.02.012. Epub 2015 Feb 18.


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a pathophysiological condition defined as an increase in mean pulmonary artery pressure of ≥ 25 mm Hg at rest. Although right heart catheterization remains an essential step in the diagnostic algorithm-particularly for pulmonary arterial hypertension-noninvasive multimodality imaging plays an important role in defining the cause, assessing outcome, monitoring the efficacy of specific therapeutic interventions, and detecting the preclinical stage of disease. We review the role of multimodality imaging in the evaluation of PH-including echocardiography, chest computed tomography, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear imaging-the choice of which depends on individual patient-based indications provided by the clinical team in accordance with current guidelines, also taking into account institutional expertise, patient safety and convenience, and repeatability. Recent advances in cardiac imaging (3-dimensional echocardiography and strain imaging, tissue characterization, and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography) may provide new insights into the pathophysiological characteristics of the right heart-pulmonary circulation unit.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods