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Pulmonary Hypertension (PH): Tests

Pulmonary hypertension, or PH, is increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries. These arteries carry blood from your heart to your lungs to pick up oxygen.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension (PH)

Your doctor will diagnose pulmonary hypertension (PH) based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and the results from tests and procedures.

PH can develop slowly. In fact, you may have it for years and not know it. This is because the condition has no early signs or symptoms.

When symptoms do occur, they're often like those of other heart and lung conditions, such as asthma. This makes PH hard to diagnose.
Medical and Family Histories

Your doctor may ask about your signs and symptoms and how and when they began. He or she also may ask whether you have other medical conditions that can cause PH.

Your doctor will want to know whether you have any family members who have or have had PH. People who have a family history of PH are at higher risk for the condition....Read more about Pulmonary Hypertension: Tests
NIH - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Drug Therapy for Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension: A Review of the Comparative Clinical Effectiveness [Internet]

Riociguat, a soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator (sGC), is currently the only drug with Health Canada approved indication for the management of inoperable chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) or persistent or recurrent CTEPH after surgical treatment in adults 18 years or older with progressive pulmonary hypertension (PH) of World Health Organization (WHO) functional class II or III. The WHO functional class ranges from I to IV, with higher numbers indicating greater functional limitations. Since histopathology studies suggest that CTEPH and primary pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH) share common pathways in their pathophysiology and manifest similar small-vessel changes, vasoactive therapies with evidence of efficacy in PAH are commonly prescribed off-label for CTEPH patients who require medical intervention. In Canada, specific therapies for PAH include sGC stimulators, endothelin receptor antagonists (ERA), phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE-5), and prostacyclin analogues. The objective of this report is to review current evidence of comparative efficacy and safety of monotherapy or combination therapy of medical interventions for patients with CTEPH.

Riociguat (Adempas): Management of Inoperable Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension [Internet]

Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a disease subtype of pulmonary hypertension. It is a progressive disease characterized by the presence of non-resolving or recurrent thrombi distributed within the pulmonary arteries. This can obstruct or occlude the luminal space, eventually leading to increased pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), pulmonary hypertension, and right-sided heart failure. Although the exact etiology of CTEPH remains poorly understood, it may arise following an initial episode of acute pulmonary embolism (PE); however, up to 60% of CTEPH patients have not had any antecedent episode of acute PE. The epidemiology of CTEPH is likewise not well established. Some surveillance data estimate CTEPH to occur in 0.1% to 0.5% of patients surviving an initial episode of acute PE; however, the true incidence of CTEPH is likely to be higher, owing to an unknown number of undetected cases either presenting occultly or latently in the setting of acute PE or through non-venous thromboembolism etiologies.

Drugs for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Comparative Efficacy, Safety, and Cost-Effectiveness [Internet]

The objective of this therapeutic review is to conduct a systematic review to assess the comparative efficacy and safety and to determine the cost-effectiveness of drug therapies for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in adults.

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Terms to know

A blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body.
The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.
One of a pair of organs in the chest that supplies the body with oxygen, and removes carbon dioxide from the body.
A colorless, odorless gas. It is needed for animal and plant life. Oxygen that is breathed in enters the blood from the lungs and travels to the tissues.
Having to do with the lungs.
Pulmonary Artery
The pulmonary artery and its branches deliver blood rich in carbon dioxide (and lacking in oxygen) to the capillaries that surround the air sacs.
Pulmonary Circulation
The circulation of the blood through the lungs.

More about Pulmonary Hypertension (PH): Tests

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Other terms to know: See all 7
Arteries, Heart, Lungs

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