What should be the focus of history in the evaluation of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)?

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

The clinical manifestations of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are frequently masked by the underlying disease entities. Obtaining a careful history may help differentiate PAH from groups 2-5 pulmonary hypertension. Important clues to a specific cause include the following:

  • History of heart murmur
  • Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE)
  • Arthritis or arthralgias
  • Rash
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Hepatitis
  • Heavy snoring
  • Daytime hypersomnolence
  • Morning headaches
  • Morbid obesity
  • Family history of pulmonary hypertension
  • Drug use, in particularly diet drugs and illicit drugs
  • Medications

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