Pulmonary refers to the lungs.
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure.
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in your lungs' arteries. Arteries are big blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to parts of your body. Your lungs' arteries are called the pulmonary arteries.
In pulmonary hypertension, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your lungs
Pulmonary hypertension is usually caused by certain lung or heart problems and sometimes by certain drugs
Pulmonary hypertension makes you feel weak and short of breath
To tell if you have pulmonary hypertension, doctors will do a chest x-ray and ultrasound of your heart
Doctors treat the cause of your pulmonary hypertension and may give you medicine to open up your pulmonary arteries
Pulmonary hypertension is often caused by:
Other causes include sickle cell disease and certain drugs, such as fenfluramine (and other related weight-loss drugs), amphetamines, cocaine, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Sometimes pulmonary hypertension is caused by an inherited problem.
Sometimes doctors don't know what causes a person's pulmonary hypertension.
Doctors suspect pulmonary hypertension based on your symptoms, especially if you have a lung problem or heart failure. To tell for sure, they’ll do:
If it looks like your pulmonary hypertension is severe, doctors may do:
Cardiac catheterization—doctors insert a thin, hollow tube (catheter) through a vein or artery into your heart to measure the blood pressure in your heart and pulmonary arteries
Doctors will treat the cause of your pulmonary hypertension and have you avoid things that can make it worse. For example, they will have you stop smoking and not travel to high-altitude areas, such as up in the mountains.
They may give you medicine such as:
If you have severe pulmonary hypertension, doctors may do a lung transplant (a surgery where doctors remove all or part of a lung from someone else’s body and put it into your body).