Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Heart Disease: Symptoms

Definition
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is also known as Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), or idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH).

The pulmonary arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs. PAH increases the resistance of blood flow through the lungs. Due to the increased strain the right side of the heart pumps blood less effectively, this can eventually lead to heart failure, known as right ventricular failure.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is defined as mean pulmonary arterial pressure >25 mm Hg at rest and >30 mm Hg on exertion. Symptoms and Signs of PAH generally do not appear until the right side of the heart begins to fail. The causes are many and its diagnosis is done by Echocardiography (ECHO) and other tests if necessary. For mild to moderate cases treatment is medication but more severe cases may need lung transplantation.

Symptoms
The following symptoms are associated with Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH):

  • Breathlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Non-productive cough, sometimes hemoptysis (coughing out blood)
  • Swelling around the ankle and knees (peripheral edema)
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations (awareness of the heartbeat)

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