Approach to Pulmonary Hypertension: From CT to Clinical Diagnosis

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a condition characterized by increased pressure in the pulmonary circulation. It may be idiopathic or arise in the setting of other clinical conditions. Patients with PH tend to present with nonspecific cardiovascular or respiratory symptoms. The clinical classification of PH was recently revised at the World Health Organization symposium in Nice, France, in 2013. That consensus statement provided an updated classification based on the shared hemodynamic characteristics and management of the different categories of PH. Some features seen at computed tomography (CT) can suggest a subtype or probable cause of PH that may facilitate placing the patient in the correct category. These features include findings in the pulmonary arteries (peripheral calcification, peripheral dilatation, eccentric filling defects, intra-arterial soft tissue), lung parenchyma (centrilobular nodules, mosaic attenuation, interlobular septal thickening, bronchiectasis, subpleural peripheral opacities, ground-glass opacities, diffuse nodules), heart (congenital lesions, left heart disease, valvular disease), and mediastinum (hypertrophied bronchial arteries). An approach based on identification of these CT features in patients with PH will allow the radiologist to play an important role in diagnosis and help guide the clinician in management of PH.

PMID: 29432063

Posted in Computed Tomography.

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