Pulmonary hypertension: diagnosis, imaging techniques, and novel therapies
Pulmonary hypertension (PH), defined as the elevation of mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) above 25 mmHg, has numerous causes, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has divided into five distinct categories based upon the underlying mechanism of action. This review will explore the pathophysiology, diagnostic testing, and treatment of PH. Identification of PH depends on a strong clinical suspicion, a detailed history, and a thorough physical exam. We review the evidence supporting experimental and clinical laboratory parameters for diagnosis and monitoring of PH. Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) is the initial screening test of choice. This review will detail specific echocardiographic techniques for the assessment and classification of PH. Furthermore, the importance of advanced imaging, including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) is explored. New developments in pharmacology, percutaneous intervention, and surgical approaches are summarized. Finally, we will address the tools available to predict morbidity and mortality.