Pulmonary hypertension

Alternative Names

Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Sporadic primary pulmonary hypertension; Familial primary pulmonary hypertension; Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension; Primary pulmonary hypertension; PPH; Secondary pulmonary hypertension

Definition of Pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. It makes the right side of the heart need to work harder than normal.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The right side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs, where it can receive oxygen.

Symptoms

Shortness of breath or light-headedness during activity is often the first symptom.

Signs and tests

A physical examination may show:

Treatment

There is no known cure. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms. It is important to treat medical disorders that cause pulmonary hypertension, such as obstructive sleep apnea, lung conditions, and heart valve disorders.

Expectations (prognosis)

The long-term outlook has been poor, but new therapies may produce better results. Some people with this condition may develop progressive heart failure that may lead to death.

Review

Allen J. Blaivas, DO, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine UMDNJ-NJMS, Attending Physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 4/27/2010

Respiratory system
Primary pulmonary hypertension

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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