Stress-Induced Pulmonary Hypertension: How This Killer Is Diagnosed And Treated

An isolated diastolic dysfunction of the right ventricle is also referred to as stress-induced pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension was once considered a strictly congenital defect of the right side of the heart and lungs. Now doctors know that people can develop this dangerous condition later in life when they are exposed to extremely high levels of stress for an extensive period of time. You could easily have stress-induced pulmonary hypertension and not realize it because it can be diagnosed as several other similar conditions. To get the correct and accurate diagnosis, you would need to visit a pulmonologist. The following information shows how this killer disease is diagnosed and treated. 

The Tests

People who experience ongoing levels of stress will have elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline in their blood. They will have heartbeats that seem normal until they climb stairs or exert themselves, and then the heart rate suddenly escalates. They will be short of breath and frequently experience swelling in the extremities of the right side of the body, most notably the lower leg, ankle, and foot. Their blood pressure will be exceptionally high, even after sitting and resting for thirty minutes or more. Arteries may be blocked with moderate plaques, even though cholesterol levels may be at an acceptable level. 

The pulmonologist will take blood samples to look for high cortisol, adrenaline, and cholesterol levels (to rule out high cholesterol). Then he or she will put you through a moderate physical activity for a few minutes and watch your reaction. If you have experienced swelling of the extremities on the right side of your body, tell the pulmonologist when he or she asks. The pulmonologist will also monitor your blood pressure for several days to see if there are any noteworthy fluctuations. Finally, an ultrasound of your heart and blood vessels will be taken to see the flow of blood and functioning of the heart. 


If you have developed this major and potentially fatal medical issue, you will need to start treatment immediately. You will manage this disease by taking medications to lower blood pressure, reducing the plaques in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs, reducing the consumption of salt, and mitigating stress by increasing mild exercise and avoiding stressful situations. It is a disabling condition, and you need to treat it as such. 

For more information, contact a pulmonologist like Edward S Pineles M.D in your area.