Pulmonary hypertension

A disorder in which the blood pressure in the arteries supplying the lungs is abnormally high. Pulmonary hypertension develops in response to increased resistance to blood flow through the lungs. To maintain an adequate blood flow, the right side of the heart must contract more vigorously than before. Right-sided heart failure may later develop. Causes of pulmonary hypertension may include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (see pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive), a pulmonary embolism, pulmonary fibrosis, and some congenital heart diseases (see heart disease, congenital), but it can also develop without an obvious cause. Symptoms, which include enlarged veins in the neck, enlargement of the liver, and generalized oedema, only develop when heart failure occurs. Treatment is aimed at the underlying disorder (if known) and the relief of the heart failure. Diuretic drugs and oxygen therapy may be given.


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