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Echocardiography in pulmonary hypertension

Bossone, Eduardoa; Ferrara, Francescoa; Grünig, Ekkehardb

doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000217

Purpose of review Pulmonary hypertension is a progressive disease of the pulmonary vasculature characterized by increased vascular resistance and pressure overload of the right ventricle. This review aims to describe the diagnostic and prognostic role of echocardiography in pulmonary hypertension with particular consideration of relative strengths, weaknesses and new advances.

Recent findings Although right heart catheterization (RHC) remains the gold standard, echocardiography represents an accessible and feasible real-world tool for screening, differential diagnostic, follow-up assessments and risk stratification in pulmonary hypertension. In the context of clinical scenario and multimaging approach, echocardiography provides accurate measurements of pulmonary haemodynamics, either at rest and/or during exercise, and is particularly useful in ruling out secondary causes of pulmonary hypertension and/or detecting preclinical stages. The use of advanced noninvasive imaging techniques may provide additional information in assessing right heart structure and function.

Summary Advances in echocardiography and the multimodality imaging approach continue to provide new understandings and opportunities for the study of the right heart–pulmonary circulation unit in pulmonary hypertension.

aDepartment of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital ‘Scuola Medica Salernitana’, Salerno, Italy

bCenter of Pulmonary Hypertension, Thoraxclinig at University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Correspondence to Eduardo Bossone, MD, PhD, Cardiology Division, ‘Cava de’ Tirreni and Amalfi Coast’ Hospital, Heart Department, University of Salerno, Via Pr. Amedeo, 36 – 83023 Lauro (AV), Italy. Tel: +39 328 5415438; fax: +39 081 8240067; e-mail:

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