Screening and Prevention

To screen for pulmonary hypertension, your doctor will determine whether you have any known risk factors and may have you undergo screening tests. Screening is not usually performed unless you have known risk factors such as scleroderma. Your doctor may recommend prevention strategies to help you lower your risk of developing pulmonary hypertension.

Tests to screen for pulmonary hypertension

Based on your symptoms or risk factors, your doctor may recommend the following tests to screen for changes in the heart or lungs that may be related to pulmonary hypertension.

  • Echocardiography to look at your heart’s function and structure and estimate pulmonary artery pressure
  • Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG) to look for signs of changes in your heart or abnormal rhythms in your heart’s electrical activity.
  • Pulmonary function tests to look for changes in lung function for conditions such as systemic sclerosis, COPD, or interstitial lung diseases

Based on the results of these screening tests, your doctor may do follow-up tests to see whether you have higher-than-normal pressures in the pulmonary arteries. These other tests can help diagnose pulmonary hypertension.

Prevention strategies

To help prevent pulmonary hypertension, your doctor may recommend controlling certain medical conditions, avoiding certain medicines or illegal drugs, and protecting yourself against environmental hazards that are risk factors.

Look for

  • Diagnosis will discuss tests and procedures that your doctor may use to diagnose pulmonary hypertension.
  • Living With will discuss what your doctor may recommend to prevent your pulmonary hypertension from recurring, getting worse, or causing complications.
  • Research for Your Health will discuss how we are using current research and advancing research to prevent pulmonary hypertension.
  • Participate in NHLBI Clinical Trials will discuss our open and enrolling clinical studies that are investigating prevention strategies for pulmonary hypertension.