Sanger sequencing, the traditional “gold standard” for mutation detection, has been wildly used in genetic testing of pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH). However, with the advent of whole-exome sequencing (WES), few studies have compared the accuracy of WES and Sanger sequencing in routine genetic testing of PAH. PAH individuals were enrolled from Fu Wai Hospital and Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital. WES was used to analyze DNA samples from 120 PAH patients whose bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2 (BMPR2) mutation statuses had been previously studied using Sanger sequencing. The Sanger sequencing and WES agreement was 98.3% (118/120) with near-perfect agreement (κ coefficient = 0.848). There was no significant difference between the two methods on the McNemar–Bowker test (P > 0.05). Twenty-one BMPR2 mutation carriers and 99 non-carriers were detected by Sanger sequencing. Among the 21 BMPR2 carriers detected by Sanger sequencing, one variant (c.1040 T > A) was not found by WES. Among the 99 BMPR2 non-carriers, WES detected an extra mutation carrier (c.76 + 1 G > C) missed by Sanger sequencing. Both false-positive and false-negative results were highly conserved and were re-analyzed by Sanger sequencing. WES improved the accuracy of Sanger sequencing and detected 1% (1/99) false-positive and 4.8% (1/21) false-negative results of Sanger sequencing. No false-positive and false-negative results of WES were identified in our analysis. WES is non-inferior to Sanger sequencing and may play a more important role in genetic testing of PAH patients in the future.