pulmonary hypertension

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by Meowoink, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. Meowoink

    Meowoink New Member

    ...I am having surgery next Thur. & took my report with me from my cardiologist.
    At the bottom of the report, it said---
    'mild pulmonary hypertension.' My doc NEVER mentioned this to me. Should I be concerned about this or perphaps see a
    doc in this field?? Any info would be appreciated......thank you
  2. kooky

    kooky New Member

    Hi Meowoink: I was worried about breathlessness recently. I checked out several sites about respiratory disease and remember reading about pulmonary hypertension. Sorry, I cannot remember, but there are many good sites which explains all pulmonary problems. If you just search in Yahoo and type in pulmonary hpertension or illnesses or symptoms, there are very good explainations of these.

    I am surprised that no investigations were made to find out whether you did indeed have pulmonary hypertension.

    Are you having symptoms of breathlessness? I recently went to the hospital because on slight exertion, I was becoming breathless..... At times, I feel some sort of constriction in the airways and find it difficult to breath, but do not pant or become obviously breathless.

    I have requested further investigations for breathlessness and am awaiting. I do suffer from very severe CFIDS and apparently, breathing difficulties can occur. However, I would rather have a scan and have it checked.

    Good luck and regards. Kooky.
  3. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member

    Did you ever have a PFT (pulmonary function test)..If you did, that would/could possibly indicate pulmonary hypertension to my understanding..
    Are you having some type of "heart" surgery, because this can also be picked up through echocardiagram to my understanding..Here is some info I found for you on Pulmonary Hypertension:

    What is Pulmonary Hypertension?

    Over 100,000 people in the United States are known to suffer pulmonary hypertension, a disease that has no cure. As described by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association,
    "Pulmonary hypertension is a rare blood vessel disorder of the lung in which the pressure in the pulmonary artery (the blood vessel that leads from the heart to the lungs) rises above normal levels and may become life threatening.

    Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include shortness of breath with minimal exertion, fatigue, chest pain, dizzy spells and fainting. When pulmonary hypertension occurs in the absence of a known cause, it is referred to as primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). This term should not be construed to mean that because it has a single name it is a single disease. There are likely many unknown causes of PPH. PPH is extremely rare, occurring in about two persons per million population per year.
    "Secondary pulmonary hypertension (SPH) means the cause is known. A common cause of SPH are the breathing disorders emphysema and bronchitis. Other less frequent causes are the inflammatory or collagen vascular diseases such as scleroderma, CREST syndrome or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Congenital heart diseases that cause shunting of extra blood through the lungs like ventricular and atrial septal defects, chronic pulmonary thromboembolism (old blood clots in the pulmonary artery), HIV infection, liver disease and diet drugs like fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine [popularly known as "Fen-Phen"] are also causes of pulmonary hypertension."

    To read the brochure entitled, "Pulmonary Hypertension: Helpful Information for Patients and Families," by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, in Adobe Acrobat format, click here.
    The National Institutes of Health also has a complete description of PPH, its causes, treatments, and new drug therapies, written in layperson's terms. Click here to read this document (Adobe Acrobat format).

    PPH and the Fen-Phen Connection

    Pondimin (the brand name for fenfluramine) and Redux (the brand name for dexfenfluramine), the "fen" in Fen-Phen were often sold in combination with phentermine, the "phen" in the Fen Phen combination. The drugs were taken off the market in 1997, after pressure was placed on the manufacturer by medical researchers and patients with serious injuries that had filed lawsuits, including patients represented by Lieff Cabraser. To learn more about the Fen Phen recall, click here. Our firm filed one of the first Fen Phen lawsuits in the nation and has been pursuing justice for Fen Phen patients for the past six years. To read a summary of the Fen Phen litigation, click here.
    As noted above, Primary Pulmonary Hypertension is an extremely rare, incurable and often fatal disease. PPH is characterized by raised pulmonary vascular resistance. Pulmonary hypertension ("PH") is clinically defined by specified elevations of pulmonary arterial pressure. Because PPH cannot be diagnosed until all types of secondary pulmonary hypertension (of which there are many) have been excluded on clinical grounds, PPH is very difficult to diagnose. Studies have shown that it can be several years after having stopped taking diet drugs that patients develop the disease.

    Support Groups

    Pulmonary hypertension associations exist to disseminate information to concerned individuals and patients. One such organization is the Pulmonary Hypertension Association which was founded in 1990 by three patients. It started as a support group and has grown to include more than 1,200 members. Its Scientific Advisory Board is composed of doctors and researchers who are leading experts in the field. For more information, visit the PHA website. To go to the specific page on the PHA website from which you can search for the location of PPH support groups, click here.
    In addition, information on current research and drug trials on primary pulmonary hypertension can be found on the PPH Cure Foundation website.

    Recent PPH Treatment News

    As stated by Dr. Richard Channick, University of California at San Diego in November 2002, "While there is no cure for PH, there are treatments available that can help improve quality of life and prolong life expectancy. But because the disease often goes undiagnosed -- often not recognized until years after the first symptoms appear -- many PH patients live without treatment."
    Current treatments for PH include:
    Calcium channel blockers
    Inhaled Oxygen
    Bosentan (brand name Tracleer -- the first oral drug treatment) for PH
    Eproprostenol (brand name Flolan)
    Treprostenol (brand name Remodulin)

    On May 21, 2002, the FDA granted accelerated approval to treprostinil (Remodulin Injection manufactured by United Therapeutics) to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Accelerated approval was based on the results of the largest double-blind, placebo-controlled trial ever conducted in patients with PAH.
    Remodulin is a continuous subcutaneous infusion for PAH patients with New York Heart Association Class II-IV symptoms, to diminish symptoms associated with impairment in exercise ability.

    Fen Phen Lawsuits
    Fen Phen Recall
    PPH Attorneys
    PPH Studies & Links

    An analog of prostacyclin, treprostinil relaxes blood vessels in the lungs, improving blood flow and increasing exercise capability.
    In a study entitled "Transitioning from IV Epoprostenol to Subcutaneous Treprostinil in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension" in Chest (2002;121(5)), results were provided on the feasibility of transitioning patients to Remodulin who were experiencing life-threatening complications of long-term intravenous Flolan. Eight patients were part of the study. Most of the patients who transitioned to Remodulin were NYHA class II patients experiencing recurrent sepsis associated with their Flolan catheter.
    The patients were followed from 4-11 months post-transition. All but one patient maintained their clinical state, 6-minute walk distance and NYHA functional class. That one patient had been deteriorating while receiving intravenous Flolan as well. All of the patients experienced infusion site pain, a side effect of Remodulin. However, the site pain had markedly improved with treatment in six of the eight patients after a few weeks.
    "This study provides important information that will be useful to clinicians who may be transitioning patients from intravenous epoprostenol (Flolan) to subcutaneous treprostinil (Remodulin) because of serious complications related to the intravenous delivery system," said the lead U.S. author, Nicholas S. Hill, MD, professor of medicine and chief, pulmonary and critical care division Tufts-New England Medical Center.
    On March 21, 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine ("NEJM") issued an editorial entitled, "Treatment of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension -- The Next Generation." The editorial reviewed studies on drugs used to treat PPH, ranging from calcium-channel blockers to Prostacyclin and more recent adjunctive therapy with Bosentan."
    One study found that Bosentan had "small but measurable beneficial effects." The study lasted 16 weeks. This was "not sufficient to test for a difference in mortality, but its results suggest that endothelin-receptor blockade has a therapeutic role in some patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension."
    To read the NEJM editorial, click here (Adobe Acrobat format). To read the study on Bosentan to which the NEJM editorial refers, click here (Adobe Acrobat format).
    Contact Diet Drugs PPH Attorneys and PPH Lawyers

    Persons who ingested diet drugs and are suffering from PPH or primary pulmonary hypertension are welcome to contact the national law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. The lawyers, nurses and support staff of Lieff Cabraser have represented injured diet drug users, including PPH victims from across America, since the recall of Pondimin and Redux was announced in 1997.


    Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
    E-mail: mail@lchb.com
    Firm Website: http://www.lieffcabraser.com
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    Hope I have helped you some.....Take care......Donna