What is the role of transthoracic echocardiography in the workup of scleroderma?

Updated: Nov 13, 2018
  • Author: Sergio A Jimenez, MD, MACR, FACP, FRCP(UK Hon); Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Transthoracic echocardiography is a noninvasive study for assessing pulmonary artery pressure. [23, 127] Conduct this test to evaluate the patient's pulmonary artery pressure at initial evaluation and during serial follow ups and to assess septal fibrosis or pericardial effusions. Roughly 30% of patients have asymptomatic pericardial effusions.

A systolic pulmonary artery pressure of greater than 35 mm Hg is considered to represent pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, right-sided heart catheterization is required to obtain an accurate evaluation of pulmonary artery pressure.


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