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Pulmonary Hypertension

Treat Pulmonary Hypertension At CARE Hospitals in India

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition that leads to excessive or high blood pressure. It can hamper and affect the lungs’ arteries and the heart’s right side. This is also known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and is responsible for blocking and constricting the blood arteries. 

They can either be damaged, constricted or even collapse. The lung blood flow gets affected and is slowed- rising the pressure in pulmonary arteries and leading to injury. It can add pressure to the heart and weaken its functions. Heart failures are mainly caused due to the added pressure on the cardiac part.

Pulmonary hypertension can progress at a  slow rate and be fatal. Many types of therapies at CARE Hospitals can assist to ease the symptoms. We may be able to provide a new quality of life, but remember most of the cases are incurable.

Symptoms 

There are many indicators or signs that can be seen during the development of pulmonary hypertension. Although they can take up to years to get worse, it’s always suggested to consult a medical professional if the following symptoms sustain-

  • Shortness of breath or dyspnea- this can be initially seen while exercising.

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness or fainting spells

  • Chest pressure

  • Chest pain

  • Swelling (oedema) in the ankles

  • Oedema in legs

  • Oedema in abdomen (ascites)

  • Bluish colour of lips and skin (cyanosis)

  • Fast pulse

  • Pounding heartbeat (palpitations)

There can be many reasons why you have the above-mentioned symptoms. It is always suggested and recommended to get the annual body check-up done to track down the signs and symptoms. 

Nowadays many people opt for home medical diagnostic tools- like a blood pressure machine. These machines can tell the blood pressure as well as the pulse rate. Maintain a physical examination daily if you have a tendency towards high or low blood pressure.

Risks

People who are in the age group of 30-60 are more prone to pulmonary hypertension than those who are above 60. It is mainly due to the working class stress that conditions like pulmonary hypertension occur. 

Medically, growing older can catalyze pulmonary arterial hypertension development. Younger people are also experiencing idiopathic PAH.

There can be added risks to pulmonary hypertension development- 

  • Family history or genetic reasons

  • Being overweight

  • Blood-clotting disorders

  • Genetic history for blood clots in the lungs

  • Exposure to asbestos

  • Congenital heart disease

  • Living at a high altitude

  • Consumption of weight-loss medicines

  • Consumption of illegal drugs like cocaine

  • Consumption of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to cure depression and anxiety.

Diagnosis

  • Physical and medical tests cannot diagnose the developmental stage of pulmonary hypertension. 

  • It is only detected when it’s at the advanced stage but still the signs and symptoms are similar to other lungs and heart conditions.

  • Doctors at CARE Hospitals will run a physical examination and review to analyse all the signs. You're required to provide your family and medical history.

  • The tests are mainly blood and imaging tests that can diagnose pulmonary hypertension.

  • Blood tests- these can detect the complications and other causes of pulmonary hypertension.

  • X-rays of the chest- doctors will get the picture of the heart, lungs and chest to show any enlargement of the pulmonary arteries and right ventricle.

  • ECG scan or the electrocardiogram- The heart’s electrical patterns and abnormal heartbeats can be detected with the help of an ECG test. It is non-invasive and reveals the signs of enlargements in the right ventricle or strain.

  • Echocardiogram- the moving images of the heart are examined with the help of sound waves- it helps the doctors to know the status of valves and heart functions. The pressure and thickness of the right ventricle can be examined. These tests can also be conducted while doing workouts like on a treadmill or a stationary bike. A mask can also be used to determine the heart and lungs function. 

  • Right heart catheterisation- This is a confirmation diagnosis test after an echocardiogram where a catheter is installed into a vein. The catheter is a thin, flexible tube inserted by the groin. It will be guided to the right ventricle and pulmonary arteries for analysis. 

  • After getting diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, other confirmatory tests are conducted to know the organ’s positions.

  • Computerised tomography- it is an imaging test to know the status inside and show the blockages. 

  • MRI scans are done to know the blood flow inside the pulmonary arteries and the working of the right ventricle.

  • A lung function test is conducted to know the airflow inside and lung capacity.

  • Sleep is studied to measure brain activity, heart rate, BP, oxygen level, etc. 

  • V/Q scan involves a tracer that can track blood flow and airflow. 

  • An open lung biopsy can also be conducted to check the cause of pulmonary hypertension.

  • The doctors may conduct genetic testing for confirmation.

Treatment 

  • Doctors can improve the signs and symptoms but cannot cure pulmonary hypertension. Treatments require daily follow-ups and can be complex- your doctor may recommend the treatment for the underlying cause before the follow-ups of pulmonary hypertension.

Medications 

Many medications are provided that can improve conditions like pulmonary hypertension. The signs and symptoms can slow down with the help of-

  • Vasodilators- These are blood vessel dilators that can relax and open blood vessels. It promotes blood flow and is prescribed in the form of epoprostenol. 

  • GSC Stimulators- This increases the nitric oxide that further relaxes pulmonary arteries and pressure in the lungs. 

  • Endothelin receptor antagonists- These will induce endothelin that can narrow walls of blood vessels. Example- Bosentan, macitentan, and ambrisentan. 

  • High-dose calcium- These are called channel blockers and will relax the wall of blood vessels and muscles.

  • Warfarin- It is an anticoagulant and helps to prevent blood clots in the pulmonary arteries.

  • Digoxin- help the heart to beat fast and pump more blood.

  • Diuretics- helps kidneys to remove excess fluid and are known as water pills; reducing the load on the heart.

  • Oxygen therapies

Surgeries

  • Atrial septostomy- it is an open-heart surgery done when the medications aren’t working- the surgeon will create an opening between the upper left and right chamber of the heart. This is done to relieve pressure on the heart.

  • Lung or heart-lung transplant- if someone has idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, they may undergo a transplant. 

One should consult the doctor about all the side effects post the surgical procedure before getting the treatment. 

Why choose CARE Hospitals?

CARE Hospitals in India are known for the best treatments across the country with world-class technologies and assistance from top medical professionals. We aim to provide the best diagnostic and treatment aids to our patients. Our comprehensive team of experts will guide you through every procedure followed. We hope to bring the best out of the condition.

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