Pulmonary hypertension refers to increase in pulmonary pressure to more than 25 mmHg. It can occur as an isolated disease or in the association of another disease. It depends on the type of the disease, if it is associated with right heart disease and in such condition, it can be fatal.

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The right heart responds to increase in resistance by increasing systolic pressure.

Pulmonary Hypertension Can Be Divided Into Different Grades-

  • One which occurs because of interstitial lung disease which includes collagen deposition diseases
  • Another which occurs due to a thrombus that means a thrombus is formed in pulmonary artery which prevents further outflow of blood from right ventricle thus increases the resistance of the circuit.
  • Other which occurs because of heart disease.

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Is Pulmonary Hypertension A Fatal Disease?

Is Pulmonary Hypertension A Fatal Disease?

On the basis of various divisions, one can decide whether the disease is fatal or not. If it is large thrombus obstructing the way of pulmonary artery there are high chances that it increases right ventricular pressure, which in turn decreases left ventricle and hence decrease in cardiac output. If cardiac output falls below normal than hypotension may occur. If there is severe hypotension there are high chances that there might be decrease perfusion to vital organs such as kidney, which in turn compensate by activating the RAAS system and in this way vicious cycle is formed. If this cycle is not broken then surely a person can die because of pulmonary artery hypertension.

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In case if pulmonary artery hypertension is associated with COPD, which involves smaller airways there is the chance that due to decreasing blood supply person because hypoxemic and hence chance of survival decreases.

Many times a thrombus formed in pulmonary artery can act as paradoxical thrombus and hence further increases the risk of death due to pulmonary hypertension.

It is observed that pulmonary hypertension if it occurs due to thrombus formation in pulmonary artery system there is high mortality rate. If a person is not treated immediately he may die within minutes. The cause may be due to right ventricular failure and pulmonary edema associated with it impairing oxygen entry into the body. A person is suffering from dyspnea along with hypotension. If this situation arises there is very little chance that a person may survive. Thus timely management using fibrinolytic is essential as a little delay can cost a life.

But if in cases where pulmonary hypertension is due to interstitial diseases there is chances that person may survive as the disease does not occur suddenly. It takes a considerable amount of time to progress to that level where recovery is difficult so accordingly early diagnosis of interstitial diseases is important so as to prevent further complications like pleural effusion to occur so if timely diagnosed rarely they cause death.

Many times there is deposition of Collagen or as seen in sarcoidosis, which precipitates pulmonary artery hypertension. In such cases, it is important to treat the cause. if it is treated rarely a person die because of pulmonary artery hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension can be fatal depending upon the cause. The etiological factor behind it helps in making the diagnosis. Like if it is due to pulmonary thromboembolism then chances of survival are very less. The person dies within minutes because of cardiac arrest but if it is due to interstitial lung diseases then there are high chances that person survives as these diseases progress gradually and hence there is a time lag in which treatment can be initiated and person' life can be saved.

So yes it can be fatal surely as maximum times pulmonary complication arises along with any heart disease. Pulmonary complication includes pulmonary edema, hypertension. All the above-mentioned situation precipitates cardiac arrest. Thus as long as the pulmonary system is functioning smoothly there are chances that a person may survive. Depending upon this a person should make a diagnosis and plan further treatment. As a little delay can cost a life.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 20, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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