Pulmonary hypertension is a rare lung disorder in which the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs become narrowed, making it difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. As a result, the blood pressure in these arteries -- called pulmonary arteries -- rises far above normal levels. This abnormally high pressure strains the right ventricle of the heart, causing it to expand in size. Overworked and enlarged, the right ventricle gradually becomes weaker and loses its ability to pump enough blood to the lungs.
HOW IS PULMONARY HYPERTENSION DIAGNOSED?
A complete medical history, physical exam, and description of the symptoms are necessary to rule out other diseases and make the correct diagnosis. Other tests that might be ordered include:
• Blood tests:
• Chest X-ray:
• Pulmonary function tests:
• Polysomnogram or overnight oximetry:
• Right heart catheterization:
• Ventilation perfusion scan (V/Q scan):
• Pulmonary angiogram:
• Chest CT scan:
HOW IS PULMONARY HYPERTENSION TREATED?
Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension aims at improving the symptoms and slowing its progression. Blood vessel dilators, high-dose calcium channel blockers and anticoagulants are some of the medications given to treat symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension
DID YOU KNOW?
Pulmonary hypertension occurs in individuals of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds, although it is much more common in young adults and is approximately twice as common in women as in men.