St. Luke's University Health Network

Pulmonary Hypertension

Treating Pulmonary Hypertension
at St. Luke's

Narrowing or blocked arteries in the lungs is a sign of pulmonary hypertension. With the build-up of pressure, the heart has to work harder. The result is that the heart muscle gets weak and may stop working altogether.

 


Pulmonary Hypertension Signs and Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Swelling of the ankles and feet

Pulmonary Hypertension Risk Factors

  • Certain drugs including antidepressants, oral contraceptives, estrogen therapy
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Obesity
  • HIV
  • Liver disease
  • Vascular diseases
  • Thyroid disorders

Pulmonary Hypertension Tests may include:


Treatment and Care

More than ever before, pulmonary hypertension is treatable. Not all patients are treated with the same medication(s). Some possible treatments are:

  • Warfarin, an anticoagulant, to prevent clotting in pulmonary arteries
  • Oxygen, if oxygen levels are low
  • Diuretics (fluid pills) to reduce excess fluid in the body
  • Digoxin to improve heart pumping
  • Vasodilator medications that work by opening up narrowed blood vessels