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How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed?

Pulmonary hypertension is rarely discovered in a routine medical examination, and in its later stages, the signs of the disease can be confused with other conditions affecting the heart and lungs. Normal pulmonary arterial pressure in a

person living at sea level has a mean value of 12-16mmHg. Definite pulmonary hypertension is present when mean pressures at rest exceed 25 mmHg. Although pulmonary arterial pressure can be estimated on the basis of echocardiography, pressure sampling with a Swan-Ganz catheter provides the most definite measurement.

Diagnostic tests generally involve blood tests, electrocardiography, arterial blood gas measurements, X-rays of the chest (generally followed by high-resolution CT scanning). A biopsy of lung tissue, angiography with endoluminal biopsy of the pulmonary artery, or biopsy of any associated skin lesions, is often attempted to obtain tissue for histopathological investigation. A definite diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension usually requires passing a tube through a vein in an arm or a leg into the right side of the heart to measure the blood pressure in the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.

More information on pulmonary hypertension

What is pulmonary hypertension? - Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare lung disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises far above normal levels.
What is primary pulmonary hypertension? - Primary pulmonary hypertension is a rare, progressive disorder characterized by high blood pressure of the main artery of the lungs.
What is secondary pulmonary hypertension? - Secondary pulmonary hypertension is a disorder of the blood vessels in the lungs. It is the result of other lung diseases.
What causes pulmonary hypertension? - Pulmonary hypertension is the result of greater resistance to blood flow. Secondary pulmonary hypertension can be associated with breathing disorders.
What're the symptoms of pulmonary hypertension? - Symptoms of primary pulmonary hypertension include shortness of breath especially during exercise, chest pain, and fainting episodes.
How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed? - Diagnostic tests for pulmonary hypertension involve blood tests, electrocardiography, arterial blood gas measurements, X-rays.
What's the treatment for pulmonary hypertension? - Treatment of pulmonary hypertension involves treating the underlying causes, using supplemental oxygen to increase blood oxygen levels, diuretics.
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