Pulmonary hypertension facts
- Pulmonary hypertension is abnormally elevated
pressure in the pulmonary circulation.
- The classification of primary and secondary
pulmonary hypertension has been reclassified, and now is based on the main
underlying disease or condition, symptoms, and treatment options for pulmonary
hypertension. There are five classes or groups in this new classification
- Pulmonary hypertension can have no
identifiable cause and is then referred to as idiopathic pulmonary hypertension
(formerly called primary pulmonary hypertension).
- Pulmonary hypertension can be caused by
certain drugs, diseases (scleroderma, dermatomyositis,
infections (HIV, schistosomiasis), liver disease, valvular heart disease,
congenital heart disease, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD),
in the lungs, and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).
- Risk factors for pulmonary hypertension are
liver failure, chronic lung disease, blood clotting disorders, and underlying
diseases, such as scleroderma,
- Signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension
shortness of breath,
- difficulty breathing with exertion,
- rapid breathing, and
- rapid heart rate.
- Pulmonary hypertension is diagnosed by
measuring the pulmonary pressures by either ultrasound of the heart
(echocardiogram) or right heart catheterization.
- The treatment for pulmonary hypertension can
include oxygen, diuretics, blood thinners, medications that open the pulmonary
arteries, and treatments for any underlying disease.
- The prognosis and life expectancy for a person with pulmonary hypertension is
improving as newer treatment options become
available; however, prognosis may depend on the underlying disease or condition
that is causing pulmonary hypertension.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/30/2016