Screening Strategies for Pulmonary Hypertension in Patients With Interstitial Lung Disease: A Multidisciplinary Delphi Study

Academic Article


  • Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common complication of interstitial lung disease (ILD) and is associated with worse outcomes and increased mortality. Evaluation of PH is recommended in lung transplant candidates, but there are currently no standardized screening approaches. Trials have identified therapies that are effective in this setting, providing another rationale to routinely screen patients with ILD for PH. Research Question: What screening strategies for identifying PH in patients with ILD are supported by expert consensus? Study Design and Methods: The study convened a panel of 16 pulmonologists with expertise in PH and ILD, and used a modified Delphi consensus process with three surveys to identify PH screening strategies. Survey 1 consisted primarily of open-ended questions. Surveys 2 and 3 were developed from responses to survey 1 and contained statements about PH screening that panelists rated from −5 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Results: Panelists reached consensus on several triggers for suspicion of PH including the following: symptoms, clinical signs, findings on chest CT scan or other imaging, abnormalities in pulse oximetry, elevations in brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) or N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and unexplained worsening in pulmonary function tests or 6-min walk distance. Echocardiography and BNP/NT-proBNP were identified as screening tools for PH. Right heart catheterization was deemed essential for confirming PH. Interpretation: Many patients with ILD may benefit from early evaluation of PH now that an approved therapy is available. Protocols to evaluate patients with ILD often overlap with evaluations for pulmonary hypertension-interstitial lung disease and can be used to assess the risk of PH. Because standardized approaches are lacking, this consensus statement is intended to aid physicians in the identification of patients with ILD and possible PH, and provide guidance for timely right heart catheterization.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Chest  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rahaghi FF; Kolaitis NA; Adegunsoye A; de Andrade JA; Flaherty KR; Lancaster LH; Lee JS; Levine DJ; Preston IR; Safdar Z
  • Start Page

  • 145
  • End Page

  • 155
  • Volume

  • 162
  • Issue

  • 1