Make Improvement the Goal

Your doctor will want to see improvement in terms of specific diagnostic tests (like the ones we’ve listed in the chart below), but we know that your personal goal is to be able to do more.

Experts in the treatment of PAH have come up with parameters to help you and your healthcare team monitor your progress. If these goals are not being met, it may be time to talk to your doctor about a change. Many of these ways your doctor can monitor your PAH progression or improvement aren’t symptom related. So, even if you don’t feel any different, your PAH may still be getting worse over time, which is why it’s important that your doctor performs other tests to see what's happening in your body.

What It Is

An ultrasound of the heart that is used to check the size and function of the right side of your heart


Expert-Recommended Goal*

Normal size and function of the right heart ventricle

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

A test to see how far you can walk in 6 minutes


Expert-Recommended Goal*

440 meters or more (about 1444 feet)

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

A system of 4 “classes” used to judge the severity of your PAH based on your symptoms. Class I symptoms are considered the least severe, and Class IV symptoms the most severe.
Learn more here.


Expert-Recommended Goal*

A functional class of I or II

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

B-type Natriuretic Peptide is secreted by your heart when it is under strain. High levels of BNP can indicate too much strain on your heart, or even heart failure


Expert-Recommended Goal*

Normal BNP levels

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

The only way to confirm a PAH diagnosis, but also used to measure the pressures in your heart and the arteries in your lungs


Expert-Recommended Goal*

Right arterial pressure, or RAP, of <8 mm Hg and cardiac index, or CI, >2.5 to 3.0 L/min/m2

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

An ultrasound of the heart that is used to check the size and function of the right side of your heart


Expert-Recommended Goal*

Normal size and function of the right heart ventricle

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

A test to see how far you can walk in 6 minutes


Expert-Recommended Goal*

440 meters or more (about 1444 feet)

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

A system of 4 “classes” used to judge the severity of your PAH based on your symptoms. Class I symptoms are considered the least severe, and Class IV symptoms the most severe.
Learn more here.


Expert-Recommended Goal*

A functional class of I or II

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

B-type Natriuretic Peptide is secreted by your heart when it is under strain. High levels of BNP can indicate too much strain on your heart, or even heart failure


Expert-Recommended Goal*

Normal BNP levels

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

What It Is

The only way to confirm a PAH diagnosis, but also used to measure the pressures in your heart and the arteries in your lungs


Expert-Recommended Goal*

Right arterial pressure, or RAP, of <8 mm Hg and cardiac index, or CI, >2.5 to 3.0 L/min/m2

*From the 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension.

See our Doctor Discussion Tool for tips on effectively communicating with your doctor about your PAH.