Pulmonary Hypertension (cont.)
George Schiffman, MD, FCCP
Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Pulmonary hypertension facts
- How is pulmonary hypertension defined?
- What is pulmonary hypertension?
- What are primary (idiopathic) and secondary pulmonary hypertension?
- 8 signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension
- What causes of pulmonary hypertension
- What causes idiopathic pulmonary (primary) pulmonary hypertension?
- How common is pulmonary hypertension?
- What kind of doctor treats pulmonary hypertension?
- How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for pulmonary hypertension?
- What medications treat pulmonary hypertension?
- Is there a cure for pulmonary hypertension?
- What is the life expectancy for pulmonary hypertension?
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
What are primary (idiopathic) and secondary pulmonary hypertension?
The conventional classification, primary or secondary pulmonary hypertension, which also is called pulmonary arterial hypertension, has been reclassified and is now is based on the main underlying cause, characteristics, and treatments of pulmonary hypertension. These terms were updated in 2013.This system classifies the condition based on five classes.
Class 1 includes:
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension including idiopathic previously referred to as primary pulmonary arterial hypertension), inherited pulmonary arterial hypertension, drug-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with the following:
- Connective tissue diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus, or scleroderma
- Liver disease (elevated pressures in the liver, portal hypertension);
- Congenital heart disease
- Schistosomiasis (a parasite infection that can clog the pulmonary arteries)
- Pulmonary Veno-occlusive disease (very rare)
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
Class 2 includes:
- Pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease; an elevation of pulmonary arterial pressure because of increased pulmonary venous pressure, backing up into the lungs. This includes heart failure, valvular heart disease, and some congenital heart disease.
- Pulmonary hypertension due to lung diseases and/or hypoxia (low oxygen levels). This includes
- Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD)
- Interstitial lung diseases
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic exposure to high altitudes
- Congenital lung disease
Class 4 includes:
- Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (chronic blood clots to the lungs that don't dissolve).
Class 5 includes:
- Pulmonary hypertension with unclear multifactorial mechanisms, for example,
- blood disorders (including hemolytic anemias),
- systemic disorders(such as sarcoid),
- metabolic disorders where cellular chemistry is abnormal (such as glycogen storage diseases),
- tumors obstructing flow through the lungs.
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