Lungs absorb less oxygen
If the blood vessels are constricted, the resistance in the vessels increases. As a result, the muscles in the pulmonary arteries thicken and convert into connective tissue. The longer the pulmonary hypertension lasts, the stiffer the arteries become and the less oxygen can be absorbed by the lungs. Over time, the artery becomes less and less elastic, the cross-section is constantly narrowed and a fatal spiral of disease begins.
Tight chest, water in the legs
Pulmonary hypertension severely limits physical performance, and it can lead to circulatory disorders, brief fainting, tight chests, circulatory problems in the hands and feet or water retention in the legs. The right ventricle loses strength (right heart failure) because it constantly has to work against the high pressure in the pulmonary arteries.
Identify causes of pulmonary hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension is often the result of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but can also spread through Asthma, AIDS, scleroderma, a develop a pulmonary embolism or a congenital heart defect. It is therefore important that the underlying disease of the pulmonary hypertension is treated. And, of course, it is essential to give up smoking completely.
Indirect Diagnosis. There is no easy way to measure blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. With the help of an electrocardiogram (ECG), the doctor can determine whether the right ventricle is enlarged. In addition, X-ray and ultrasound examinations are used to diagnose pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary hypertension can be treated with sildenafil
Macitentan is often prescribed for the drug treatment of pulmonary hypertension, but the active ingredient can also be used Sildenafil (Revatio) can be used in the form of tablets or injections – in children as well as in adults. Sildenafil is mainly used in the treatment of Erectile dysfunction known (Viagra). If the drug is used continuously in pulmonary hypertension, however, adverse effects occur more and more frequently than in men who only take sildenafil occasionally to induce an erection.
Sildenafil acts only on pulmonary vessels
In pulmonary hypertension, sildenafil causes narrowed pulmonary arteries to widen. The drug has only a slight effect on the other blood vessels in the body, the blood pressure is only slightly and only temporarily lowered. In pulmonary hypertension, sildenafil can improve performance slightly: in adults who, because of the disease, can only walk 350 meters in six minutes, this walking distance increases by about 45 meters under sildenafil. It has not been proven whether this also increases life expectancy. Sildenafil is therefore suitable for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension with restrictions. The drug should only be used in centers that specialize in it.
Pay close attention to the dose
- Revatio should never be taken or injected in higher doses than recommended by the manufacturer. This has already resulted in deaths among children.