How is Pulmonary Hypertension diagnosed and treated?

How is Pulmonary Hypertension diagnosed and treated? | HealthSoul

Pulmonary hypertension, also known as pulmonary embolism is referred to the blood clot in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs. It is occurred when a clot from another part of the body (mostly legs or arms) moves through bloodstream and gets lodged in the lung. As the clot results in the blockage of blood flow to the lungs, this can be life-threatening. Though, immediate treatment can be highly effective in reducing the risk of death. Blood clots formation can be prevented by taking appropriate measures that will help to protect against pulmonary embolism.

Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosis

Pulmonary hypertension diagnosis can be a difficult task, particularly in individuals with an underlying lung or heart disease.  Due to that reason, the doctor will most likely do a physical exam, discuss your medical history, and suggest one or more of the below mentioned tests.


Duplex ultrasonography is a noninvasive test in which sound waves are used to scan the veins in your arms, thighs, knee, and sometimes in your calf for checking deep vein clots. A device shaped like a wand known as transducer is moved over the skin and the sound waves are directed towards the veins. The waves get reflected back to the transducer creating an image on the computer. If the clots are available, pulmonary hypertension treatment is likely to start immediately.

Blood Tests

A blood test can be ordered by your doctor for checking the level of D dimer (a clot-dissolving substance). Higher D dimer levels suggest increased blood clots likelihood. Though, other factors are also responsible for an increased level of D dimer. The amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood can also be measured through blood tests. The presence of a blood clot in your lung will decrease the level of oxygen in your blood. Blood tests may also be done for determining the presence of inherent clotting disorder.

Pulmonary Angiogram

This is a type of test in which a clear picture of the blood flow is acquired in the lung’s arteries. This is probably the most accurate pulmonary hypertension diagnosis method, though it requires high degree of skill for administering the test and has potential risks. The test is mostly performed when other tests fail to acquire desired diagnosis.

Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment

The treatment for pulmonary embolism is mostly targeted to prevent blood clot from getting bigger and reducing the chances of new blood clot formation. Immediate treatment is necessary for preventing complication or death.


Medications for pulmonary embolism treatment include a number of clot dissolvers and blood thinners.

Thrombolytic (clot dissolvers): Thrombolytics are clot dissolvers taken through veins that help in dissolving the clots quicker. Being clot dissolving drugs, they may cause severe and sudden bleeding, and therefore, are reserved for life-threatening situations.

Anticoagulants (blood thinners): Anticoagulants are usually taken for preventing new clots from forming and existing blood clots from enlarging. The most used anticoagulant is Heparin which is injected through vein or under the skin.

Surgical procedures

Clot removal: Having a large blood clot in your lung can be life-threatening. In this case, your doctor might suggest you to remove it through a thin tube known as catheter via your vessel.

Vein Filter: In this pulmonary embolism treatment, a filter is positioned with the help of a catheter in the body’s main vein that extends from your leg to the right side of your heart. This can be helpful to keep your clots from reaching your lungs. The treatment is mostly reserved for patients who cannot consume anticoagulant drugs or having recurrent clogs despite using anticoagulants.

Wrapping it up

It is essential to continue with the pulmonary embolism treatment such as using blood thinners, as there is always a risk of another deep vein thrombosis. Also, continue the regular visits to your doctor for prevention or treatment of any complications. Peakheart is among the most well-known Heart And Vascular Center Of Arizona. For any information related to pulmonary hypertension, do visit our website.