Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the lungs. The blood vessels in the lungs can become stiff, damaged or even narrow, and the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body.

It is very important for patients with pulmonary hypertension to work with providers who specialize in this disease, such as the pulmonary specialists at UM Capital Region Health. It is critical for the specialists to find out what caused the pulmonary hypertension and develop the right treatment plan as soon as possible.

Pulmonary hypertension can happen at any age, including children, but is more common as people age. It is more common among adults 75 and older, women, and African Americans.

Heart failure is common in pulmonary hypertension and lung disease.


  • Blood clots to the lungs
  • Chronic lung diseases like emphysema
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Genetics
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease (cirrhosis)


Initially, symptoms of pulmonary hypertension are similar to many other diseases and include difficulty breathing and fatigue. As a result, diagnosis is often delayed until more severe symptoms occur, including dizziness, chest pain, ankle swelling or heart palpitations (heart racing or pounding).


There is no cure for pulmonary hypertension, but there are many available treatment options. These include inhaled medicine, intravenous medication, diuretics (medicine to reduce swelling in the feet) and oxygen therapy.

Call 240-677-3000 to schedule an appointment.