, Volume 19, Issue 12, pp 493-494,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 08 Nov 2011

Pulmonary hypertension, how to diagnose and who to treat?

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Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a fatal disease with an estimated survival rate of only 50% after 5 years [1]. Over the last years, knowledge in the field of pulmonary hypertension has grown consistently and significantly. New diagnostic tools, as well as the efficacy of new medications and drug combinations, have been described.

How to define and diagnose pulmonary arterial hypertension is the first important issue. Should echocardiography be the method of choice? It is easy to access, cheap and noninvasive. However, the cut-off values are debatable. In the ESC guidelines of 2009 [2] an estimated peak pulmonary artery pressure of >50 mmHg is stated as ‘pulmonary hypertension is likely’, while a PAP of 37–50 is defined as ‘possible PH’. However, the gold standard remains heart catheterisation. Now the definition is made using a mean pulmonary artery pressure of 25 mmHg or more. Age and gender seem to have an important impact on the incidence and severity of PH. For instance, female p ...