Pulmonary Hypertension Oakville

Pulmonary Hypertension

What is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure that affects the pulmonary vasculature. It can affect the pulmonary artery, pulmonary veins, or a mixture of both.

There are 3 Types:

graphic of a healthy human heart vs a heart with Pulmonary Hypertension

What is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure that affects the pulmonary vasculature. It can affect the pulmonary artery, pulmonary veins, or a mixture of both.

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

(PAH, Pre-capillary PH)

This type of Pulmonary hypertension affects the pulmonary arteries, which carry oxygen-poor blood from the right side of the heart into the lungs. These arteries become narrowed, thickened, or stiff. The right side of the heart must work harder to push blood through these narrowed arteries. This will inevitably lead the right sided heart muscles to become weaker and fail, which will lead to the inability to meet the metabolic needs of the rest of the body. This is called right sided heart failure.

Combined Pre and Post-Capillary Pulmonary Hypertension


Combined pre and post-capillary pulmonary hypertension is a combination of the two pathologies, affecting both the pulmonary veins and the pulmonary arteries.

Pulmonary Venous Hypertension

(PVH, Post-capillary PH)

This type of pulmonary hypertension affects the pulmonary veins, which ordinarily drain oxygen-rich blood from the lungs into the left upper chamber (left atrium) of the heart. It typically results from the left side of the heart being unable to pump or relax properly, or alternatively from left sided valvular abnormalities. The left side of the heart will be unable to keep up with the oxygen-rich blood that is returning from the lungs, and consequently this blood will “back-up” into the lungs.  This raises the blood pressure within the pulmonary veins, causing them to narrow, thicken or become stiff.

What are the Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension?

woman holding AI generated lungs

How common Is Pulmonary Hypertension?

While pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) remains quite rare, other types of pulmonary hypertension are much more common. These include pulmonary hypertension caused by the left side of the heart or the lungs. This type of pulmonary hypertension becomes more common with aging, and in fact worldwide, 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 years, have this form of pulmonary hypertension. It is believed that the number of people with pulmonary hypertension will continue to rise over the next few decades.

What is the Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension?

Management depends on the type of Pulmonary Hypertension. There is no cure for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), but it is manageable. Treatment of PAH is individualized, and designed to delay the progression of disease, reduce symptoms, and improve quality of life. The precise treatment regimen will depend on the severity of symptoms, home support systems and test results, and is individualized for each patient. A great deal has changed with respect to the treatment of PAH in the past 20 years or so. In most cases of PAH, more than one medication will be necessary for optimal results, and some patients may require oxygen to improve symptoms.   

The management of Pulmonary Venous Hypertension, which is usually caused by left sided heart disease, focuses on treating the cause, such as heart failure or valvular heart disease.

syringe on a paper that says Pulmonary Hypertension
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Frequently Asked Questions

Patients with well-controlled pulmonary hypertension, find a daily exercise program helpful to improve their symptoms and quality of life.  Those with uncontrolled pulmonary arterial hypertension may find it more challenging however, with worsening short of breath, and fatigue with minimal exercise.  Consider a pulmonary hypertension consultation at the Chahal Cardiovascular Centre, prior to engaging in a daily exercise program to determine the best plan for you.  

Unfortunately no. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is not curable. However, early treatment can reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and delay progression of the disease. If it is identified early enough, management can prevent permanently damaging the pulmonary arteries however. 

Still have a question about pulmonary hypertension? Speak to your doctor about a referral to the Chahal Cardiovascular Centre for a Pulmonary Hypertension consultation.