Pulmonary hypertension (PH or PHTN) is a condition of increased blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fainting, tiredness, chest pain, swelling of the legs, and a fast heartbeat. The condition may make it difficult to exercise. Onset is typically gradual.
|Other names||Pulmonary arterial hypertension, Ayerza syndrome|
|Symptoms||Chest pain, fatigue|
|Usual onset||20 to 60 years old|
|Risk factors||Family history, pulmonary embolism, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, cocaine use, COPD, sleep apnea, living at high altitudes|
|Diagnostic method||Following ruling out other potential causes|
|Treatment||Supportive care, various medications, lung transplantation|
|Medication||Epoprostenol, treprostinil, iloprost, bosentan, ambrisentan, macitentan, sildenafil|
|Frequency||1,000 new cases a year (US)|
The cause is often unknown. Risk factors include a family history, prior blood clots in the lungs, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, cocaine use, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, living at high altitudes, and problems with the mitral valve. The underlying mechanism typically involves inflammation and subsequent remodeling of the arteries in the lungs. Diagnosis involves first ruling out other potential causes.
There is currently no cure for pulmonary hypertension, although research on a cure is ongoing. Treatment depends on the type of disease. A number of supportive measures such as oxygen therapy, diuretics, and medications to inhibit blood clotting may be used. Medications specifically used to treat pulmonary hypertension include epoprostenol, treprostinil, iloprost, bosentan, ambrisentan, macitentan, and sildenafil. Lung transplantation may be an option in severe cases.
The frequency of occurrence is estimated at 1,000 new cases per year in the United States. Females are more often affected than males. Onset is typically between 20 and 60 years of age. Pulmonary hypertension was identified by Ernst von Romberg in 1891.