Pulmonary hypertension is a form of high blood pressure affecting the arteries in the lungs. There are five different categorizations of pulmonary hypertension, divided according to the cause of the condition. Possible causes include genetic mutation, certain medication, heart disease, lung disease, and chronic blood clots. In some cases, the cause of pulmonary hypertension is unknown.
Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include fatigue; shortness of breath; dizziness; fainting spells; chest pain; pressure on the chest; edema in the ankles, legs or abdomen; a fast pulse or heart palpitations; and a bluish color the lips and skin caused by poor blood flow. In the early stages, pulmonary hypertension may have few or no symptoms, but they will worsen as the condition progresses. The condition can lead to serious, sometimes fatal complications, such as heart failure, pulmonary embolism and other blood clots, arrhythmia, and bleeding in the lungs.
Risk factors for pulmonary hypertension include being overweight, a history of heart disease or pulmonary hypertension in the family, use of illegal drugs, some appetite suppressing medication, and certain medical conditions.
Treatment of pulmonary hypertension usually involves surgery and medication. Drug classes commonly used to treat pulmonary hypertension are pulmonary hypertension agents and vasodilators.