Pulmonary Hypertension

The Breathing Center at Christian Hospital specializes in treating conditions of the respiratory system.

What is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure where the arteries in the lungs, pulmonary arteries, have become narrowed or blocked. This makes it harder for blood to flow in the lungs and makes the heart muscle work harder which can lead to heart failure.

Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension

The following are symptoms associated with pulmonary hypertension.

  • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Chest pressure
  • Edema in the legs and ankles
  • Racing heart (palpitations)

Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is caused by changes in the cells that line the pulmonary arteries. These cells form extra tissue that blocks or narrows the blood vessel.

Types of Pulmonary Hypertension

  • Idiopathic pulmonary hypertension: cause of high blood pressure is unknown
  • Secondary pulmonary hypertension: cause of high blood pressure is from a medical problem. Some common medical problems are as follows:
    • Blood clots in the lungs
    • COPD
    • Sleep apnea
    • Congenital heart defects
    • Cirrhosis
    • AIDS
    • Lung disease
    • Drug use

Diagnosis and Treatment

Pulmonary hypertension can be diagnosed with any of the following procedures.

  • Blood test
  • Chest x-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Lung biopsy
  • Right heart catheterization
  • Pulmonary function test
  • Lung scan

Treatment for pulmonary hypertension is determined by your doctor and could include any of the following.

  • Medications
  • Atrial septostomy
  • Lung or heart-lung transplant

To schedule an appointment or for more information please call 314.747.9355 or toll-free 877.747.9355 or email us.