Pulmonary Hypertension Overview
Pulmonary arteries are the blood vessels that move blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs where oxygen is received into the blood. The oxygenated blood (blood which carries oxygen) is then transported back to the left side of the heart via the pulmonary veins.
The pressure of blood circulating in the pulmonary arteries (pulmonary blood pressure) is normally significantly lower than the systemic blood pressure (pressure of blood measured routinely which is coming out the left side of the heart). Normal systemic systolic blood pressure is typically between 120 to 140 mmHg. In the pulmonary system, the blood pressure is typically 20 to 25 mmHg.
If the pressure in the pulmonary arteries abnormally rises for any reason, the condition is referred to as pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary artery hypertension, or pulmonary arterial hypertension. In general, this rise in pressure is caused by tightening or constriction of the blood vessels carrying the blood to the lungs. This constriction hinders the flow of blood in the vessels, causing the blood to travel with a higher force and through a higher resistance, leading to high blood pressure.
There are no certain data on the statistics and prevalence of pulmonary hypertension; because the condition is typically associated with other underlying diseases that are more readily diagnosed and treated.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2014
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