Professor Luke Howard

Respiratory medicine

Medical interests: Diseases of the pulmonary circulation, including pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lung) and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung); sport and exercise physiology; unexplained breathlessness.



My first main area of interest is pulmonary hypertension, a disorder of the blood vessels in the lungs. Since the heart has to pump its entire output through the lungs to re-oxygenate the blood, pulmonary hypertension puts great strain on the heart. While usually considered rare, pulmonary hypertension can develop in patients with various common heart and lung conditions, particularly pulmonary embolism (clots to the lungs), emphysema or heart failure. Consequently, understanding how the heart and lungs interact is critical in my clinical practice, which fits neatly with my second area of interest, Sports and Exercise Physiology. These specialist interests put me in the privileged position of looking after people across the whole spectrum of fitness from those patients with severe limitation to international athletes. This broad understanding also means that patients are often referred to me if they experience breathlessness that is proving difficult to diagnose.


My work involves working with a wide range of patients, from extremely fit athletes with a health problem to frail older patients with high levels of disability because of breathing problems.

Symptoms investigated

  • Breathlessness
  • Exercise impairment
  • Wheezing
  • Conditions diagnosed
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Chronic respiratory disease, eg asthma, COPD, emphysema
  • Dysfunctional breathing disorders
  • Procedures performed
  • Lung function tests
  • Exercise testing, for diagnosis, prognosis, fitness for surgery and athletic performance
  • Right heart catheterisation to diagnose causes of pulmonary hypertension
  • Research interests
  • Exercise physiology
  • Cardiopulmonary haemodynamics
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Iron physiology


Medical training
Prof Luke Howard completed his undergraduate training in Physiological Sciences at the University of Oxford, which he followed directly with his research doctorate, also at Oxford, in Altitude Physiology. He moved to the University of Cambridge to complete his clinical studies. He acquired his general medical training in London at the Royal Brompton Hospital and Guys and St Thomas' Hospital and then undertook specialist training in Cambridge and Papworth before moving back to London to take up his current consultant position.

Current appointments
Prof Howard was appointed Consultant Respiratory Physician to the National Pulmonary Hypertension Service at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London in 2006. He also holds the position of Professor of Practice (Cardiopulmonary Medicine) at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London. He runs the Exercise Physiology Service, based at Hammersmith Hospital.

He has an active research programme in Pulmonary Hypertension and Exercise Physiology, as well as sitting on national and international committees and guideline groups for pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary embolism, oxygen therapy and air travel. He is regarded as an international expert, lecturing around the world in his areas of interest.

NHS practice
Consultant Respiratory Physician, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust


In clinic
Clinic times*
In clinic: Yes
Clinic times*: 14:00 - 21:00


Dr Luke Howard: fees

Type of patient Initial consultation (up to 60 minutes) Follow up consultation (30 minutes)
Self pay* £295 £195
Insured** Within the schedule of charges for specific insurance companies Within the schedule of charges for specific insurance companies

*Fees for overseas patients will be agreed prior to a consultation and will be set dependent on the type of case and amount of preparation required.

*If your policy covers consultations, in most cases, there will be no shortfall to pay (but you may have an excess liability on your policy).
Please note however, some policies do not cover the full cost of consultations, and there may be a shortfall to pay. In that instance, it is the responsibility of the patient to pay the shortfall in full. Please always check your policy conditions or contact your insurer as necessary.

Our temporary opening hours are now from Monday – Friday 08.00 – 20.00


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