How Screening for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Works

Importance of Annual Screenings

Take charge of your health with yearly PAH screening. Because you can develop PAH at any time with a scleroderma diagnosis, experts* recommend annual screening.1-4

*Recommendations for annual PAH screening of people with systemic sclerosis are included in the 2015 European Society of Cardiology/European Respiratory Society Guidelines, proceedings from the 6th World Symposium of Pulmonary Hypertension, and results of a consensus survey of experts in the field of PAH and scleroderma.

Types of Screening Tests

There are a few tests that your doctor can use to check if you might have PAH associated with scleroderma. These tests may be affected by PAH.5

Pulmonary function tests

Pulmonary function tests

Breathing tests that measure how much air your lungs can hold, how well they move air, and how well they supply your body with oxygen

Blood tests

Blood tests

Markers in your blood that may show whether your heart is working properly



An ultrasound of the heart to show how well your heart is beating and pumping blood. It helps your doctor get a picture of your whole heart, including the right chambers

These screening tests can show if you might have PAH. In order to confirm a PAH diagnosis, a test called right heart catheterization is required. Your doctor may order a right heart catheterization if other tests suggest you might have PAH.2,5,6

Talk with your doctor about getting screened every year for PAH associated with scleroderma. Your doctor can order screening tests as recommended by professional medical guidelines and PAH specialists.1-3 Ask your doctor about pah

Have Questions About PAH?

See some of the most commonly asked questions about scleroderma and PAH.


Get Screened for PAH

Screening tests can detect signs of PAH that you may not be able to feel.2

Read more
References: 1. Galiè N, Humbert M, Vachiery J-L, et al. 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension: the Joint Task Force for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS). Eur Heart J. 2016;37(1):67-119. 2. Khanna D, Gladue H, Channick R, et al. Recommendations for screening and detection of connective-tissue disease associated pulmonary arterial hypertension. Arthritis Rheum. 2013;65(12):3194-3201. 3. Frost A, Badesch D, Gibbs JSR, et al. Diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. Eur Respir J. 2019;53(1):1801904. doi:10.1183/13993003.01904-2018 4. Hachulla E, Launay D, Mouthon L, et al; French PAH-SSc Network. Is pulmonary arterial hypertension really a late complication of systemic sclerosis? CHEST. 2009;136(5):1211-1219. 5. Hayes GB. Pulmonary Hypertension: A Patient’s Survival Guide. 5th ed. Silver Spring, MD: Pulmonary Hypertension Association; 2012. 6. Pulmonary Hypertension Association. Pulmonary hypertension and scleroderma brochure. Published 2018. Accessed November 11, 2021.