PULMONARY ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION - Watsons Health

PULMONARY ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION

  • A life-threatening condition that becomes progressively worse, but the symptoms can be treated to alleviate the condition.
  • It means that there is high blood pressure in the arteries that go from the heart to the lungs due to their narrowing or being blocked; causes the heart to work harder and may eventually lead to heart failure.
  • Cause may be unknown in origin; thus, the condition is called idiopathic pulmonary hypertension.

Other conditions may cause pulmonary arterial hypertension, such as:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Blood clots in the lungs
  • HIV
  • Illegal drug use (like cocaine or methamphetamine)
  • Liver disease (such as cirrhosis of the liver)
  • Lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases
  • Heart defect
  • Lung diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sleep apnea

Symptoms may be unnoticeable for a while.

Main symptom is shortness of breath during activity; may worsen as time goes on.

Other symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Passing out
  • Swelling in your ankles and legs

 

DIAGNOSIS

  • Physician may do/request:
    • History & Physical Exam
    • Other Additional tests such as:
      • Echocardiogram
      • CT scan
      • Ventilation-perfusion scan (V/Q scan)
      • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
      • Exercise testing

 

TREATMENT

  • Pulmonary hypertension varies from person to person, thus treatment will be patient-specific
  • If hypertension is due to another main cause, that condition will be treated first
  • Oxygen therapy may be done
  • Calcium Channel blockers
  • Lung transplant – for severe cases

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