Pulmonary Vascular Disease

What is pulmonary vascular disease?

Diseases that affect the blood vessel that leads to/from the lungs are collectively called as pulmonary vascular diseases. It can be any condition that affect the blood vessels anywhere between the heart and lungs. Damage or blockage to any part of the lung-heart blood circuit can lead to pulmonary vascular diseases.

What are the causes of pulmonary vascular disease?

Any blood vessel in the lungs can get damaged due to the damage/blockage. The cause may vary according to the blood vessel affected by the damage. Pulmonary vascular disease is classified into different types:

  • Pulmonary embolism

  • Pulmonary venous hypertension

  • Chronic thromboembolic disease

  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension

What are the symptoms of pulmonary vascular disease?

The symptoms may vary according to various factors. Different types of pulmonary vascular diseases will have varied symptoms. Find them below:

  • Pulmonary Venous Hypertension-

  • Shortness of breath

  • Breathing issues, which may get worse while lying in a flat posture

  • Breathing issues when the BP is uncontrolled

  • Breathing problems when there is pulmonary edema

  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension-

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fainting with exertion

  • Pulmonary Embolism-

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Rapid heart rate

How is the condition diagnosed?

The doctor may suggest various tests and diagnostic procedures like:

  • Ventilation/perfusion scan or V/Q scan

  • CT scan

  • Chest x-ray

  • Right heart catheterization

  • Echocardiogram

  • Pulmonary angiogram

What are the treatment options for pulmonary vascular disease?

Different types of diseases seek different treatment options. They are:

  • Pulmonary Embolism:

  • Anticoagulation

  • Medication

  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension:

  • Medications to lower the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries

  • Chronic thromboembolic disease:

  • Blood thinners

  • Surgery

  • Pulmonary venous hypertension:

  • Treatments for congestive heart failure, if caused by it

  • Treatments for underlying conditions that cause pulmonary venous hypertension.