Pulmonary hypertension

Diagnosing pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension can be difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms are similar to many other heart and lung conditions.

If your doctor thinks you have pulmonary hypertension, they may suggest you have some tests. The most common are:


An echocardiogram, often called an echo, uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of your heart. This can be used to estimate the pressure in your pulmonary arteries. It can also test how well the right and left sides of your heart are pumping.

Right heart catheterisation

If an echo test suggests you have pulmonary hypertension, you will need a second test to make sure. This test is called a right heart catheterisation. A long, thin, flexible tube is inserted into a vein and fed through to your pulmonary artery. This can be used to accurately measure the blood pressure in the right side of your heart and in your pulmonary arteries.

Other tests you might have are:

Next: Treating pulmonary hypertension >

Download our pulmonary hypertension PDF (342KB)

Last medically reviewed: January 2016. Due for review: January 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.