Types And Classifications Of Pulmonary Hypertension

2414 Words Apr 2nd, 2015 10 Pages
Abstract Pulmonary hypertension is a disease that without treatment becomes progressively worse until a patient dies. It is characteristically a disease of young adults, but may occur all across the lifespan making this disease even more devastating.1 Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by elevated intrapulmonary pressures which cause dynamic changes to the cardiovascular system of the affected individual. The adequate functioning of the cardiovascular system is vital to the survival of the patient so while treatment is rarely curative, with the exception of organ transplant which will be discussed later, the main goal of medical therapy is to optimize cardiovascular functioning and stop disease progression allowing people living with …show more content…
The different pathogenesis of PH requires different treatment modalities therefore it is imperative to further subdivide cases of PH. The World Health Organization (WHO) has created, based on the pathogenesis of PH, five subgroups including PH caused by elevated pressures in the pulmonary arteries themselves, PH caused by elevated pressures in the pulmonary veins, PH caused by disorders of the respiratory system as a whole and, or related to arterial hypoxemia, PH resulting from chronic disorders of the hematologic system causing thrombotic and, or embolic disease that plague the body, and lastly PH resulting from disorders that affect the pulmonary vasculature directly.3,4 In order to explore PH, pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) must be discussed, and the reader must obtain an understanding of said parameter. In order to measure PAP and subsequently diagnose PH the patient undergoes one of two procedures, either a transesophageal echocardiogram or heart catheterization. The mean, or average, pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP), is the average pressure measured inside the pulmonary artery. In a healthy person, the mPAP is about 14mmHg. The diagnosis of PH is given when the mPAP is above 25mmHg while the patient is in a resting state.5,6,7 After a diagnosis of PH is made, treatment is started which generally includes medication from at least one of the following classes:
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