Pulmonary Hypertension - Share Your Experience

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Were you or a relative diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension? Please share your experience.

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What is pulmonary hypertension?

The right ventricle pumps blood returning from the body into the pulmonary arteries to the lungs to receive oxygen. The pressures in the lung arteries (pulmonary arteries) are normally significantly lower than the pressures in the systemic circulation. When pressure in the pulmonary circulation becomes abnormally elevated, it is referred to as pulmonary hypertension. This most commonly occurs when the pulmonary venous pressure is elevated, so called pulmonary venous hypertension (PVH). This pressure is transmitted back to the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries. The result is elevated pulmonary pressure throughout the pulmonary circulation. Some of this is a direct pressure transmission from the venous system backward and some can result from a reactive constriction of the pulmonary arteries.

Less commonly, pulmonary hypertension results from constriction, or stiffening, of the pulmonary arteries that supply blood to the lungs, so called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Whether it is pulmonary venous or pulmonary arterial hypertension, it becomes more difficult for the heart to pump blood forward through the lungs. This stress on the heart leads to enlargement of the right heart and eventually fluid can build up in the liver and other tissues, such as the in the legs.

What are pulmonary arteries?

  • The human body has two major sets of blood vessels that distribute blood from the heart to the body. One set pumps blood from the right heart to the lungs, and the other from the left heart to the rest of the body (systemic circulation). When a doctor or a nurse measures the blood pressure on a person's arm, he/she is measuring the pressures in the systemic circulation. When these pressures are abnormally high, the person is diagnosed as having high blood pressure (systemic hypertension).
  • The portion of the circulation that distributes the blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs and back to the left side of the heart is referred to as the pulmonary (lung) circulation.
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See what others are saying

Comment from: Pankajam J., 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 09

I have been having blood pressure (BP) for the last several years. It started at pregnancy and continued in fits and starts. I was diagnosed as a BP patient and administered drugs starting with diuretics. During the last 4 years I needed rest frequently while doing my morning walk. I had considerable difficulty at airports running from place to place. Doctors kept changing medicines. Between medications pressure used to remain high. About three months ago I went to another doctor, who diagnosed that I had constriction of the throat muscles due to an accident I had 30 years ago which resulted in inadequate oxygenation of the system leading to pulmonary hypertension. Now I am on BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) and oxygen support at night. My dependence on drugs is considerably reduced. My BP is normal with minimum drugs. I have regular medical checkups. During nearly 25 years how I survived the onslaught of various drugs remains a miracle. Throughout the period my oxygen levels and pulse rate remained incredibly low at night for a few precious seconds. How I survived all these years is a mystery.

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Comment from: Bella, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in January of 2015. It took 2 years to finally get a diagnosis. I'm on Remodulin and several other medicines. I am able to walk a lot better and breathe much better. I still have lack of energy and a lot of anxiety and depression. I can't do a lot of the things I use to do. Medicine is very intense procedure because it has to be mixed and given through a catheter every other day. I am also in the CardioMEMS test study. I also feel the medical profession as well as the general public should be more aware of this condition.

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