Pulmonary hypertension is a pathological haemodynamic condition defined as an increase in mean pulmonary arterial pressure ≥ 25 mmHg at rest, assessed using gold standard investigation by right heart catheterisation. Pulmonary hypertension could be a complication of cardiac or pulmonary disease, or a primary disorder of small pulmonary arteries. Elevated pulmonary pressure (PAP) is associated with increased mortality, irrespective of the aetiology. The gold standard for diagnosis is invasive right heart catheterisation, but this has its own inherent risks. In the past 30 years, immense technological improvements in echocardiography have increased its sensitivity for quantifying pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) and it is now recognised as a safe and readily available alternative to right heart catheterisation. In the future, scores combining various echo techniques can approach the gold standard in terms of sensitivity and accuracy, thereby reducing the need for repeated invasive assessments in these patients.
Parasuraman, S., Walker, S., Loudon, B. L., Gollop, N. D., Wilson, A. M., Lowery, C., & Frenneaux, M. P. (2016, September 1). Assessment of pulmonary artery pressure by echocardiography-A comprehensive review. IJC Heart and Vasculature. Elsevier Ireland Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcha.2016.05.011