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Pulmonary Hypertension

PAH information request

01/18/2006

Question:

Hello Doctor, I am curious whether experts still distinguish between PPH and secondary pulmonary hypertension when it comes to treating a specific patient, or do they simply follow the NYHA/WHO functional classification (FC) for all patients. Secondly, in what circumstance (if any) would an expert treat a patient with NYHA FC I, and what agents would be used? Thank you very much.

Answer:

Pulmonary hypertension implies increased pressures within the vessels that take blood through the lung (pulmonary artery) . This can result from many different conditions, and when no other disease process is found, we call it primary pulmonary hypertension (or idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension).

The treatment is based on what is causing the pulmonary hypertension. The functional class is ascertained to decide on therapy. There are no clear guidelines on how to treat NYHA FC 1 patients as these patients do not have symptoms. The same therapies are used based on how high the pulmonary artery pressures are.

For more information:

Go to the Pulmonary Hypertension health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Namita   Sood, MD, FCCP Namita Sood, MD, FCCP
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University