Normal blood pressure keeps us alive. It’s the force that moves blood throughout our circulatory system, ensuring that oxygen and nutrients reach our organs and tissues and that waste products are eliminated. When we hear the word hypertension—high blood pressure—we know this describes the blood flow exerting too much force against blood vessel walls. Pulmonary hypertension describes high blood pressure in the vessels of the lung. Specifically, pulmonary hypertension is an elevated mean arterial pressure (?20 mm Hg at rest) of the vessels between the heart and the lung.
After listening to this AudioBrick, you should be able to:
- Define pulmonary hypertension and compare with pulmonary arterial hypertension.
- Describe the clinical presentation and diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension, including results from electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and heart catheterization. Explain how pulmonary hypertension leads to right-sided heart failure.
- Describe how pulmonary vascular resistance affects pulmonary arterial pressure. List common etiologies of pulmonary hypertension, differentiating between cardiac and pulmonary causes. List the most common cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
- Describe the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
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