Symptoms and Signs of Pulmonary Hypertension

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary arteries are blood vessels that move blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs where oxygen is received into the blood. If the pressure of blood circulating in the pulmonary arteries (pulmonary blood pressure) abnormally rises, the condition is referred to as pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary artery hypertension, or pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Many patients with pulmonary hypertension may not have any symptoms. When symptoms of pulmonary hypertension occur they may include shortness of breath, and less commonly cough, fatigue, lethargy, and dizziness. Other symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include low oxygen level (hypoxia), rapid breathing, or leg swelling. As the disease progresses, right-sided heart failure (cor pulmonale) may occur, and symptoms include worsening of shortness of breath, fluid retention (edema) with swelling of the legs, or chest pain (angina).

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.