The start of symptoms in pulmonary hypertension can be very subtle and often patients and their physicians may not recognize that they have a serious medical condition. Pulmonary hypertension can thus be difficult to diagnose. In addition, symptoms are nonspecific and may include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest discomfort, syncope, and palpitations.
The initial evaluation of each patient begins with review of any previous medical evaluations and a comprehensive history and physical examination at Stanford. After the initial consultation a Stanford faculty physician will contact the referring physician and together with the patient and their family will review diagnostic and therapeutic options. Generally, several diagnostic tests may be required to diagnose pulmonary vascular disease and help ascertain its cause. The most common tests, all of which are performed at Stanford and Packard Hospitals in state-of-the art facilities, include the following: