What is pulmonary hypertension?

Updated: Apr 25, 2018
  • Author: Kristin E Schwab, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Pulmonary hypertension, defined as a mean pulmonary arterial pressure greater than 25 mm Hg at rest or greater than 30 mm Hg during exercise, is often characterized by a progressive and sustained increase in pulmonary vascular resistance that eventually may lead to right ventricular failure. It can be a life-threatening condition if untreated. Therapy for pulmonary hypertension is targeted at the underlying cause and its effects on the cardiovascular system, with success rates varying according to the etiology. Novel therapeutic agents, such as prostacyclin and others undergoing clinical trials, have led to the possibility of specific therapies for these once untreatable disorders.


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