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Pulmonary hypertension is a serious form of high blood pressure that impacts the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart. Pulmonary hypertension begins when the small arteries in the lungs become narrow, making it difficult for the blood to flow through the lungs and increasing blood pressure. The increased pressure makes the right side of the heart work harder to pump blood to the lungs. Eventually, this stress on the heart can lead to heart disease and heart failure.
There are several types of pulmonary hypertension, and it is important to carefully identify the variety in order to prescribe the best treatment plan.
Pulmonary hypertension is called idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension in cases where a cause is unknown. The accurate diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of pulmonary hypertension can be difficult to determine. Some causes of pulmonary hypertension may include:
Pulmonary hypertension is not curable and can be potentially fatal. There are treatments available to improve symptoms. In its early stages, pulmonary hypertension may not be detected for quite some time. Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension become worse as the disease progresses.
Pulmonary hypertension symptoms may include:
To diagnose pulmonary hypertension, a physical exam with a lung specialist will include a complete medical history, along with tests that may include:
Pulmonary hypertension can be difficult to treat. Typically the objective is to manage the symptoms and stop continued lung damage. This generally includes a combination of medicine and surgery.
The doctors at The Lung Center at Mercy have the experience and skills necessary to carefully identify your specific type of pulmonary hypertension in order to prescribe the best treatment plan. In some cases, The Center’s physicians may work in conjunction with cardiology colleagues to treat it.
The Lung Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, offers highly skilled physician expertise for the diagnosis of a broad spectrum of lung disorders, including COPD, lung cancer and sleep disorders. Our expert pulmonologists are among the best lung disease specialists in the Mid-Atlantic region, offering advanced treatments for lung conditions.
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Dr. Albert Polito, Chief of Pulmonary Medicine, helps patients with lung problems including COPD, lung cancer, interstitial lung disease and sleep disorders.
An avid fencer takes on asthma with the help of Mercy's Dr. Polito.