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Specific Findings

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Sensitivity and Specificity

Introduction: Pulmonary hypertension that is a primary problem of the pulmonary arteries, also known as primary or idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. It is defined as:

  • Mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) >25 mmHg at rest
  • Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) <15 mmHg
  • (Often instead of mPAP, RVSP is used with a cutoff of 40mmHg being suggestive but not diagnostic of PAH.)

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    Tags: Pulmonary Vascular Tag this Diagnosis.

    The sensitivity and specificity of findings for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension are listed below. See the left navigation bar to change the display.

    Specific Findings

    Finding SensitivitySpecificity Comments, Study
    Pulmonary Capillary Wedge Pressure Edit 64%91%

    PCWP <= 15 mmHg (which is in the definition), compared to LVEDP <= 15 mmHg as a 'gold standard' measurement of left-sided filling pressures.

    Another way of looking at this: in patients with PAH defined by PCWP<=15, 53% of them had an LVEDP > 15 mmHg.

    Study: Chest. 2009 Jul;136(1):37-43. PMID 19255293