Introduction: PAH occurs when the arteries in the lungs get narrowed, making it harder for the heart to pump blood through the pulmonary circulation. This results in the damaging both heart and lungs. This is a rare but a serious condition that worsens overtime. The cause could be genetic or due to a disease or a drug’s toxicity.
Development of disease: the walls of arteries may thicken, constrict, or a blood clot could be a reason as well. Due to which the right ventricle must work harder to pump blood to pulmonary circulation, which in return leads to less effective oxygenation of blood and enlargement of right side of heart, causing cardiac symptoms and fluid retention.
Symptoms: develop slowly overtime. They usually resemble conditions experienced in asthma or a heart disease. Most common ones are… shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, chest pain, swollen ankles and feet.
Diagnosis: is done by a chest X ray, ECG, echocardiogram. Tests usually show enlarged right side of heart. A lung perfusion scan gives a picture of the blood flow through lungs. A catheterization of the right side of heart shows pressure in right ventricle and pulmonary artery.
Treatment: is mostly aimed to stop the progression of this disease. Oxygen supplementation is given. For fluid retention, diuretics are used. Digoxin is given in some patients to strengthen the heart. lung or heart- lung transplant has been seen effective in some patients at the terminal stage of the disease.