What is the role of radiography in the workup of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH)?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Ronald J Oudiz, MD, FACP, FACC, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Chest radiography may be the first diagnostic step in the evaluation of a patient with dyspnea; however, for many patients with PAH, the findings do not help reveal the underlying etiology. Chest radiography is useful for excluding interstitial and alveolar processes that may cause hypoxia-mediated pulmonary vasoconstriction.

Findings sometimes seen in IPAH include enlargement of the central pulmonary arteries with peripheral arterial pruning, oligemia of the lung fields, right ventricular enlargement with diminished retrosternal airspace, and right atrial enlargement manifesting with a prominent right heart border.

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