Information for Patients
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
- 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
- Cor pulmonale (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Lung diffusion testing (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Pulmonary angiography (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Pulmonary hypertension (Medical Encyclopedia)
Pulmonary arterial hypertension Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a progressive disorder characterized by abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension) in the pulmonary artery, the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is one form of a broader condition known as pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension occurs when most of the very small arteries throughout the lungs narrow in diameter, which increases the resistance to blood flow through the lungs. To overcome the increased resistance, blood pressure increases in the pulmonary artery and in the right ventricle of the heart, which is the chamber that pumps blood into the pulmonary artery. Ultimately, the increased blood pressure can damage the right ventricle of the heart.Signs and symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension occur when increased blood pressure cannot fully overcome the elevated resistance. As a result, the flow of oxygenated blood from the lungs to the rest of the body is insufficient. Shortness of breath (dyspnea) during exertion and fainting spells are the most common symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension. People with this disorder may experience additional symptoms, particularly as the condition worsens. Other symptoms include dizziness, swelling (edema) of the ankles or legs, chest pain, and a rapid heart rate.