Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)
Description of Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)
Pulmonary hypertension 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. The heart has to work harder to pump the blood through. Over time, the heart weakens and cannot do its job and one may develop heart failure.
Causes and Risk Factors
Common causes are:
1. Family history
2. May be related to another condition, usually heart or lung disease
Signs and Symptoms
1. Shortness of breath during routine activity, such as climbing two flights of stairs
3. Chest pain
4. A racing heartbeat
5. Pain on the upper right side of the abdomen
6. Decreased appetite
As PH worsens, you may find it hard to do any physical activities.
There is no cure for PH. Treatments can only control symptoms:
1. Your doctor may recommend medications such as,
a) Blood vasodilators
b) Endothelin receptor antagonists
2. In severe cases, when medication does not work, surgery such as atrial septostomy and transplantation may also be recommended.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Frequently Asked Questions about Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)
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