Pulmonary Hypertension Symptoms and Complications

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer


Initially there may be no symptoms of pulmonary hypertension at all.

Later on, symptoms may include shortness of breath, weakness, and/or fatigue on exertion. For example, a person may feel fine sitting in a chair but they might feel weak or short of breath after walking awhile.

As it progresses, people become very tired after only slight activity. Eventually, they may get right-sided heart failure, and die.

However, the course of mild to moderate pulmonary hypertension in scleroderma patients is still largely unknown, and it is possible that it might persist unchanged for long periods of time in some cases.

Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension

What are common symptoms of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension? Common early symptoms include breathlessness or shortness of breath (particularly on exertion), chronic fatigue, dizziness (especially when walking upstairs or when standing up), fainting, swollen ankles and legs, and chest pain (especially during physical activity). Actelion Pharmaceuticals.

Shortness of Breath This worrisome symptom has many acute and chronic causes. Follow this flowchart for more information about the diseases in which shortness of breath occurs.

Complications of Pulmonary Hypertension

Clinical implications of haemoptysis in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Haemoptysis in PAH patients is a serious event with a high mortality rate. Termination of haemoptysis with bronchial artery embolisation (BAE) is rapid with relatively few complications except for frequent re-bleeding episodes. Wiley. Int'l Journal of Clinical Practice, Vol 66, Issue Supplement s177, pages 5-12, October 2012.

Depressive symptoms in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH): prevalence and association with functional status. Depression is common in patients with PAH, with 55% demonstrating depressive symptoms. These results suggest that screening patients with PAH will identify a large proportion of patients who might benefit from depression therapy. McCollister DH. (PubMed) Psychosomatics, 2010 Jul;51(4):339-339.e8. (Also see Depression)

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