Pulmonary is tied to the lungs while hypertension is a medical term to describe high blood pressure.
Do you feel fatigued? Have you stopped venturing out owing to the swelling of your legs? Do you find difficult to breathe? Then, it is the right time to consult your doctor as this can put you at the risk of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH). This rare condition may rob your peace by giving you a tough time. If you are not aware of this deadly condition then here we tell you about the symptoms and risk factors which you shouldn’t miss. Also, opt for timely treatment and improve your quality of life.
- Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension also is known as (CTEPH) is a life-threatening condition. It can be defined as high blood pressure in one’s arteries that are situated in the pulmonary system (lungs) caused due to clots in the blood vessels.
- You will be shocked to know that the clots can also leave scar tissue in one’s arteries. Hence, it is a type of precapillary pulmonary hypertension (HP) that results from the incomplete resolution of pulmonary embolism (can be described as a blockage in a pulmonary artery of one’s lungs because of the blood clots). It is also associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
- Did you know? The prognosis of this condition tends to reflect the degree of associated right ventricular dysfunction with predictable mortality linked to the severity of the underlying pulmonary hypertension. But the good news is that if it is diagnosed at the right time then it can be potentially curable by undergoing surgery.
How Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) affects the body?
Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) can be dangerous for you. It is similar to the other types of pulmonary hypertension (ph) that tend to reduce blood flow along with increasing the pressure in one’s blood vessels that are present in the body. Thus chronic is defined as a long-lasting illness; thromboembolic is a complete or partial blockage of one’s blood vessel because of a blood clot that may have broken during formation. In case, you are suffering from this condition then make sure that without wasting time you MUST get yourself treated at the earliest. Here, are the symptoms, causes and risk factors of this condition.
These are the causes of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH)
One may suffer from Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension owing to the blood clots present in the lungs resulting in scarring that may block arteries in the lungs. Few conditions like blood diseases or inflammatory diseases can raise one’s risk of CTEPH. The potential causes can be not having a spleen, unprovoked large pulmonary embolisms, blood clotting disorders like lupus or ones with infected a pacemaker can also suffer from this condition.
Know about the symptoms of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension
If you exhibit symptoms like feeling weak or tired on the daily basis, tend to experience breathing difficulties especially while you are exercising, chest pain or pounding in the chest, leg swelling because of fluid retention or fainting then just visit your expert who will initiate appropriate treatment.
Are you aware of these risk factors of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension
Anyone irrespective of their age can suffer from Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension. Did you know? Even if Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension may tend to develop from pulmonary embolisms (that is known as the blood clots in the lungs), A large number of people with Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension may not have had PEs earlier. It is no brainer that ageing can be one of the culprits but along with it being inactive for a longer period, being obese, smoking and suffering from certain diseases like cancer can also be blamed for.
This is how Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension is diagnosed
- To tackle Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension is the need of the hour to opt for a timely and correct diagnosis. This is so because the underlying cause of pulmonary hypertension can have a huge impact on the options of treatments that are available. Initially, the diagnosis can be made with the help of the tests which are used for the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension like echocardiography and right heart catheterization. Moreover, Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension diagnosis is made by ruling out other causes of pulmonary hypertension and with the help of imaging tests to determine if there are any blood clots. Thus, multiple tests can allow the diagnosis of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension.
- Your expert may ask you to undergo ventilation/ perfusion (VQ) scan that is considered as one of the most common tests to exclude the diagnosis of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension. This can help measure one’s air and blood circulation by tracking the movement of one’s medical radioactive tracers via the lungs.
- A VQ scan that shows no abnormalities normally means the patient does not have CTEPH. Likewise, your expert may also suggest you opt for a pulmonary angiography to confirm if you are suffering from Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension. It involves taking out an x-ray of the chest of the patient. But, other imaging scans like computed tomography (CT) or an MRI can also be done. Thus, with the help of these tests, an expert will be able to monitor the blood flow through one’s pulmonary arteries and see to it if there are any blockages and spot the location too. Likewise, these tests can also help to understand if the patient has CTEPH which may respond in a positive way to the surgical treatment.
Treatment for CTEPH
Patients with CTEPH can be treated with the help of pulmonary thromboendarterectomy also known as PTE that can help one deal with the disease and reduce the symptoms. This open-chest surgery can allow the removal of scar tissue and clots from the patient's pulmonary arteries. Likewise, one will also be able to get rid of blockages in the blood vessels and enhance the functioning of the lungs by restoring the normal circulation. But, you MUST also keep in mind that not everyone is a suitable candidate for PTE. Some people can also be cured with medications. Hence, the treatment may vary from person to person.
(With inputs from Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai)
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