Pulmonary hypertension

What is it?

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in your lungs as well as the right side of your heart. It can lead to several issues including right heart failure.


  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath during exercise or at rest.
  • Dizziness or fainting.
  • Ankle and leg swelling (edema).
  • Chest pain.
  • Racing pulse or heart palpitations.

Risk factors

  • Obesity.
  • Use of methamphetamines and/or diet pills.
  • The condition can develop in association with other diseases such as:
    • Valvular heart disease, particularly the mitral or aortic valves.
    • Pulmonary embolism.
    • Lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis.
    • Scleroderma.
    • HIV.
    • Lupus.
  • Idiopathic, meaning it occurred with no clear cause.

Diagnosing pulmonary hypertension

  • Complete medical history and physical examination.
  • Echocardiogram.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG).
  • Chest x-ray.
  • Right heart catheterization.
  • CT scan.
  • Pulmonary function tests.
  • Ventilation-perfusion scans (V/Q scan).

Treating pulmonary hypertension

  • Chronic disease with no cure; however, there are treatments for relief of symptoms.
  • Treatment of underlying health issues include:
    • Medication.
    • CPAP therapy to treat sleep apnea.
    • Surgery to remove blood clots.

Learn more

For more information about pulmonary hypertension or to make an appointment with an HonorHealth pulmonary hypertension specialist, call 602-786-0200