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Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension*: The Key Role of Echocardiography

Eduardo Bossone, MD, PhD, FCCP; Bruno Dino Bodini, MD; Alfredo Mazza, MD, PhD; Luigi Allegra, MD
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*From the Institute of Respiratory Disease (Drs. Bossone, Bodini, and Allegra), University of Milan, IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore, Milan; and Cardiology Department (Dr. Mazza), General Hospital, ASL AV1 Arlano Irpino, Italy.

Correspondence to: Eduardo Bossone, MD, PhD, FCCP, Director, Echocardiography Laboratory, National Research Council, Southern Italy, c/o ISBEM, Cittadella della Ricerca, S.S. 7 per Mesagne Km. 7+300, 72100 Brindisi, Italy; e-mail: bossone@isbem.cnrsm.it



Chest. 2005;127(5):1836-1843. doi:10.1378/chest.127.5.1836
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Given the nonspecific nature of its early symptoms and signs, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is often diagnosed in its advanced stages. Although clinical assessment is essential when initially evaluating patients with suspected PAH, echocardiography is a key screening tool in the diagnostic algorithm. It not only provides an estimate of pulmonary pressure at rest and during exercise, but it may also help to exclude any secondary causes of pulmonary hypertension, predict the prognosis, monitor the efficacy of specific therapeutic interventions, and detect the preclinical stage of the disease.

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