The surgical approach to lung transplantation for patients with severe pulmonary hypertension will be dependent on the primary disease and specific cardiac anatomy. To determine the safety and utility of transesophageal echocardiography in the management of patients with severe pulmonary hypertension who are being evaluated for lung transplantation, we studied 48 consecutive patients, aged 38 ± 11 years, with pulmonary artery systolic pressure of 70 mm Hg or greater. All patients previously underwent left and right heart catheterization, transthoracic echocardiography, and radionuclide ventriculography. Transesophageal echocardiography was tolerated well by all patients. Additional data that significantly altered surgical therapy were found in 12 of 48 patients (25%): proximal pulmonary artery thrombi (3), patent foramen ovale with significant right to left shunting (2), atrial septal defect (2), double-outlet right ventricle (2), ventricular septal defect (2), and exclusion of atrial septal defect (1). These findings were confirmed surgically in all patients except 3, who died awaiting transplantation. Transesophageal echocardiography is useful in the evaluation of patients with severe pulmonary hypertension.