Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse
Dr. John Chovan & Dr. Sue Butz
Pulmonary arterial hypertension, diagnosis, pathophysiology, classification of pulmonary arterial hypertension
Critical Care Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), is diagnosed as persistently elevated pressures in the pulmonary arteries. It is a severe disease that requires early diagnosis and treatment as it can be life-threatening if not treated promptly and adequately. The initial presenting signs and symptoms such as lethargy, malaise, and exercise intolerance can be vague, making it difficult to diagnose. Also, doctors at centers that specialize in treating PAH are the only ones who can properly diagnose the condition and initiate disease-targeted therapy. There are different types of PAH; the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes 5 groups of pulmonary hypertension (PH), and they are (1) PAH, (2) PA due to left heart disease, (3) PH due to lung disease, or hypoxia, (4) chronic thromboembolic PAH, and (5) PH with unclear multi-factorial means. Also, the WHO recognizes 4 functional classes of PH. Functional Class I is considered to be the mildest form of the disease, and class IV is the most severe. The condition is complex and leads to right heart failure, causing a more complicated clinical syndrome that affects multiple organs, including the heart, liver, brain, and kidney.
Menka, Gifty, "Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension" (2020). Nursing Student Class Projects (Formerly MSN). 423.