Chronic Conditions

PULMONARY ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION (PAH)

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is high blood pressure in the arteries (blood vessels) of your lungs. The blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your lungs become hard stiff and narrow.

Frequently Ask Questions

PULMONARY DISEASE SUBSTANCE ABUSE PULMONARY ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION (PAH) PSORIASIS AND PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS PAIN MANAGEMENT OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS) CANCER HYPERLIPIDEMIA HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV) HEPATITIS C GROWTH HORMONE DEFICIENCY Type I and Type II Diabetes CYSTIC FIBROSIS (CF) CROHN’S DISEASE (CD) AND ULCERATIVE COLITIS (UC) Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Frequently Ask Questions

What causes PAH?

There are many possible causes of PAH. It can be passed down from your parents (inherited). It can also be caused by conditions such as scleroderma, lupus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and birth defects of the heart. PAH can also develop without a reason.

What are symptoms of PAH?

The symptoms for all types of PAH may be similar, and symptoms are usually more severe as the disease progresses. Symptoms of PAH may include:

  •  Breathlessness
  •  Chest pain (also called angina pectoris)
  •  Dizziness
  •  Fainting (also called syncope)
  •  Loss of energy
  •  Swelling of the arms, legs, ankles or abdomen (also called edema)
  •  Dry cough
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon (chalky white or dusky blue fingers that may be painful and can sometimes be provoked by the cold)

In advanced stages of pulmonary hypertension, minimal activity may produce some or all of these symptoms. Patients in advanced stages may experience irregular heartbeat, a racing pulse, passing out and difficulty breathing at rest.Sometimes these symptoms mean you have another condition, but sometimes, these symptoms mean you have pulmonary hypertension.

How is PAH treated?

PAH has no cure. However, treatment may help relieve symptoms and slow progression of the disease. Treatment includes medications that relax the blood vessels in your lungs so that more blood can flow through them. It can also include medications that reduce excess cell growth in the blood vessels.