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Conditions & Services / Pulmonary Hypertension

Cardiologists & Vascular Specialists located in Dallas Fort Worth and the North Texas Region

Pulmonary Hypertension

About Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary Hypertension Q & A

What Causes Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is usually caused by changes in the cells that line the pulmonary arteries or capillaries which causes them to become narrowed, blocked or damaged. There are five kinds of pulmonary hypertension categorized by cause.

Inflammation, tightening, stiffening, and blood clots in the arteries are common causes. When this happens, your heart’s lower right chamber (right ventricle) must work harder to move blood through the lungs. As a result, the pressure in your pulmonary arteries increases also causing right heart muscle to weaken and fail.

Sometimes pulmonary hypertension can be caused by another medical problem (secondary pulmonary hypertension) i.e.  heart or lung disease or by blood clots. In other cases, the cause of pulmonary hypertension is unknown (idiopathic pulmonary hypertension).

What are the Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension?

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heart beat
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Syncope (fainting) 

How is Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosed?​

  • Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Right heart cathetertization

How is Pulmonary Hypertension Treated?

The treatment is dependent on the underlying cause of the pulmonary hypertension but can include water pills, blood thinners, medicines that dilate the arteries, oxygen therapy, and in advanced cases heart-lung transplant.