Also Known As: Pulmonary Hypertension, Cor Pulmonale
In medicine, pulmonary hypertension (PH) is an increase in blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein, or pulmonary capillaries, together known as the lung vasculature, leading to shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, and other symptoms, all of which are exacerbated by exertion. Pulmonary hypertension can be a severe disease with a markedly decreased exercise tolerance and heart failure. It was first identified by Dr. Ernst von Romberg in 1891. According to the most recent classification, it can be one of five different types: arterial, venous, hypoxic, thromboembolic or miscellaneous.
Because symptoms may develop very gradually, patients may delay seeing a physician for years. Common symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue, non-productive cough, angina pectoris, fainting or syncope, peripheral edema (swelling around the ankles and feet), and rarely hemoptysis (coughing up blood).
Pulmonary venous hypertension typically presents with shortness of breath while lying flat or sleeping (orthopnea or paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea), while pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) typically does not.