Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

"Pulmonary hypertension" describes high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is one form of pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary arteries carry blood from your heart to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen to be delivered throughout your body. In PAH, the pulmonary arteries constrict abnormally. This forces your heart to work faster and causes blood pressure within the lungs to rise.

 There are several types of PAH. It can be caused by or occur at the same time as a variety of other medical problems. PAH also can be the result of taking certain medicines. The cause of some cases of PAH is unknown.

PAH worsens over time and is life-threatening because the pressure in a patient's pulmonary arteries rises to dangerously high levels, putting a strain on the heart. There is no cure for PAH, but several medications are available to treat symptoms.