Common Causes Of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a condition in which the arteries of the lungs and the right part of the heart undergo high blood pressure. This also causes the narrowing and blockage of the blood vessels. The damage impedes blood flow, and the heart has to work twice as hard to pump the blood. This, in turn, weakens the heart muscles and raises pressure in the tiny arteries of the lungs.

If PAH is not treated in time, it can lead to heart failure. While there may be no noticeable symptoms in the beginning, PAH may start with shortness of breath when you indulge in demanding physical activity. Other common symptoms of PAH include chest pain, fatigue, swelling in the limbs, palpitations, dizziness, and fainting. The following are some of the common causes of PAH:

Gene mutation
The BMPR2 gene mutation is one of the most common causes of pulmonary arterial hypertension. The mutation of this gene causes cell division, which crowds the tiny arteries and narrows them down. This condition interferes with the flow of the blood, increasing the pressure in the arteries.

Illicit drug consumption
Non-prescribed drugs, such as amphetamines, dasatinib, l-tryptophan, and methamphetamine can lead to pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Heart disease
If a patient suffers from a congenital heart disease (CHD), then they are at a greater risk of developing pulmonary arterial hypertension. One such example is the Eisenmenger syndrome. This is a congenital heart disease that is characterized by a defect in the heart. In most cases, this defect is in the form of a hole between the heart’s primary pumping chambers, which interferes with the flow of the blood. This ventricular septal defect causes pulmonary hypertension.

Lung disease
Lung illnesses, such as obstructive sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or even long-term exposure to high altitudes can cause pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Chronic blood clots
When blood clots that form a part of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) reach the lungs, they give rise to a condition called pulmonary embolism, which can develop into pulmonary hypertension. Blood disorders like polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia can also cause PAH.

Inflammatory disorders
Inflammation of the blood vessels can lead to cardiopulmonary discomfort. In some cases, inflammatory disorders like sarcoidosis and vasculitis can cause PAH.

Metabolic disorders
Glycogen storage disease type 1a (GSDIa), caused by the deficiency of glucose 6-phosphatase, is a rare genetic disorder that is associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension in many studies.

Kidney disease
Kidney dysfunction is a common occurrence in patients with pulmonary hypertension. Both these fatal diseases are highly linked to each other.

If there are tumors that press against the pulmonary arteries, then they can block the blood flow and pose a high risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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