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Calculator: Pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) and pulmonary vascular resistance index (PVRI) in adults and children

Calculator: Pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) and pulmonary vascular resistance index (PVRI) in adults and children

Mean pulmonary artery pressure  
Left atrial pressure  
Pulmonary flow  

Important: Inputs must be complete to perform calculation.

BSA   m2
PVR   dynes-sec/cm5
PVR   Wood units
PVRI   dynes-sec/cm5 x BSA in m2
PVRI   Wood units x BSA in m2
Decimal precision  


  • Pulmonary flow is generally equivalent to systemic flow (cardiac output), except when there is a shunt between left and right heart or between systemic and pulmonic circulations.
  • Normal PVR varies with age and body size. The PVRI is obtained by multiplying PVR by BSA in m2.
    • For infants and children, the normal range for PVRI is approximately 0.5 to 2.0 Wood units x m2. PVRI >3 WU x m2 is consistent with pulmonary hypertension.
    • For adults, the normal range for PVR is approximately 0.25 to 2.0 WU (20 to 160 dynes-sec/cm5). The normal range for PVR increases with age, but PVR >2 Wood units (>160 dynes-sec/cm5) is generally considered elevated in all age populations. PVR >3 Wood units (>240 dynes-sec/cm5) is a component of the hemodynamic definition of PAH. PVR is also dependent upon body size in adults but normative adult ranges of PVRI are not well defined.
  • Please see UpToDate topic reviews on pulmonary hypertension in adults and children.
  • BSA: body surface area; PVR: pulmonary vascular resistance; PVRI: PVR index.

Equations used
BSA = sqr(Height * Weight / 3600)
PVR = 80 * ( Mean_pulmonary_artery_pressure - Left_atrial_pressure) / Pulmonary_flow
PVR = ( Mean_pulmonary_artery_pressure - Left_atrial_pressure) / Pulmonary_flow


  1. Baim D. Grossman's Cardiac Catheterization, Angiography, and Intervention, 7th ed, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia 2006.
  2. Vargo TA. Cardiac catheterization: Hemodynamic measurements. In: The Science and Practice of Pediatric Cardiology, 2nd ed, Garson A, Bricker JT, Fisher DJ, Neish SR (Eds), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore 1998. p.961.
  3. Kovacs G, Olschewski A, Berghold A, Olschewski H. Pulmonary vascular resistances during exercise in normal subjects: a systematic review. Eur Respir J 2012; 39:319.
  4. Hoeper MM, Bogaard HJ, Condliffe R, et al. Definitions and diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol 2013; 62:D42.
  5. Mosteller RD. Simplified calculation of body surface area. N Engl J Med 1987; 317:1098.
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