August 30, 2016
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Pulmonary Hypertension (cont.)

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What is the treatment for pulmonary hypertension?

The treatment for pulmonary hypertension depends on the underlying cause.

  • If left sided heart failure is the primary problem, then adequate treatment of the left heart failure by a cardiologist is the main stray of treatment.
  • In cases where hypoxia (low oxygen levels) due to any chronic lung disease, such as COPD, is the cause, then providing oxygen and appropriately treating the underlying lung disease by a lung doctor (pulmonologist) is the first step in treatment.
  • In some patients, the elevated pressure may be related to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), and can be reduced with the use of a CPAP, (a device that delivers positive airway pressure during sleep).
  • In conditions, such as scleroderma, which often can cause pulmonary hypertension, a rheumatologist is involved in the treatment program.
  • Anticoagulation (thinning the blood) may be a treatment option if the main underlying cause is thought to be recurrent blood clot (chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension). As indicated in previous section, referral to a specialty center may be warranted for a possible surgical removal of blood clot (thromboendarterectomy).
  • For patients with primary pulmonary hypertension (those with no underlying cause), more advanced therapy may be attempted. These drugs have complex mechanisms, but in general they work by dilating (opening up) the pulmonary arteries and, therefore, by reducing the pressure in these blood vessels and some help prevent the excessive overgrowth of tissue in the blood vessels (that decrease remodeling of the vessels, as described previously). Besides constriction, PAH can result in an actual structural change of the pulmonary arteries, whether it is due to chronically elevated pressures or the disease itself, or a combination of the two is not completely clear. These drugs also can delay and in some cases reduce the degree of remodeling of the pulmonary arteries.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/30/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/pulmonary_hypertension/article.htm

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