Pulmonary Hypertension

Also called: Pulmonary arterial hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is high blood pressure in the arteries to your lungs. It is a serious condition. If you have it, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your lungs become hard and narrow. Your heart has to work harder to pump the blood through. Over time, your heart weakens and cannot do its job and you can develop heart failure.

Symptoms of PH include

  • Shortness of breath during routine activity, such as climbing two flights of stairs
  • Tiredness
  • Chest pain
  • A racing heartbeat
  • Pain on the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Decreased appetite

As PH worsens, you may find it hard to do any physical activities.

There are two main kinds of PH. One runs in families or appears for no known reason. The other kind is related to another condition, usually heart or lung disease.

There is no cure for PH. Treatments can control symptoms. They involve treating the heart or lung disease, medicines, oxygen, and sometimes lung transplantation.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension

The following features are indicative of Pulmonary Hypertension:
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • dizziness or fainting spells
  • chest pressure or pain
  • swelling in the ankles and legs
  • bluish color to the lips and skin
  • heart palpitations
It is possible that Pulmonary Hypertension shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension

The following are the most common causes of Pulmonary Hypertension:
  • gene mutations
  • drugs such as methamphetamines
  • heart abnormalities present at birth
  • left-sided heart disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • pulmonary fibrosis
  • chronic blood clots in the lungs
  • blood disorders
  • glycogen storage disease

Risk Factors for Pulmonary Hypertension

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Pulmonary Hypertension:
  • idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • overweight
  • family history of the disease
  • use of cocaine
  • use of appetite-suppressant medications

Prevention of Pulmonary Hypertension

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Pulmonary Hypertension. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • get plenty of rest
  • don't smoke
  • avoid situations that can excessively lower blood pressure
  • eat a healthy diet

Occurrence of Pulmonary Hypertension

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Pulmonary Hypertension cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Rare between 10K - 50K cases

Common Age Group

Pulmonary Hypertension most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Pulmonary Hypertension can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Pulmonary Hypertension:
  • Echocardiogram: To check the size and functioning of the right ventricle, and the thickness of the right ventricle's wall
  • Chest X-ray: To see the images of the heart, lungs and chest
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): To see the heart's electrical patterns
  • Blood tests: To check the certain substances in the blood
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: To produce cross-sectional images of the body
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To check the right ventricle's function and the blood flow in the lung's arteries
  • Pulmonary function test: To measures how much air the lungs can hold, and the airflow in and out of your lungs
  • Polysomnogram: To detect the brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels
  • Genetic tests: To screen out the genetic mutation

Doctor for Diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension:
  • Cardiac Surgeon
  • Cardiologist
  • Pediatric Cardiologist
  • Pulmonologist

Complications of Pulmonary Hypertension if untreated

Yes, Pulmonary Hypertension causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Pulmonary Hypertension is left untreated:
  • right-sided heart enlargement
  • heart failure
  • blood clots
  • arrhythmia
  • hemoptysis
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension

The following procedures are used to treat Pulmonary Hypertension:
  • Atrial septostomy: To create an opening between the upper left and right chambers of heart to relieve the pressure on the right side of the heart
  • Transplantation: Transplanting the organ

Self-care for Pulmonary Hypertension

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Pulmonary Hypertension:
  • Get plenty of rest: Reduce the fatigue
  • Don't smoke: Reduces the chances of disease
  • Avoid traveling to or living at high altitudes
  • Avoid situations that can excessively lower blood pressure
  • Eat a healthy diet: Avoid saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol to limit the chances of disease occurrence

Patient Support for Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension

The following actions may help Pulmonary Hypertension patients:
  • Get support: Get support from family or friends to feel stress free
  • Join support group: Join support group and discuss the feelings with the individuals suffering from the same problem

Time for Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Pulmonary Hypertension to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Pulmonary Hypertension.

Related Topics

Lung Diseases

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