What is pulmonary hypertension?
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is high blood pressure in the lungs. This means that the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs become hard and narrow, making the heart work harder to pump the blood through. In turn, this weakens the heart, which cannot work properly and this can lead to heart failure.
The condition causes pulmonary vascular diseases (PVD) as the progressive obstruction of the lung blood vessels means they do not carry as much oxygen as they should, depriving the body of the oxygen it needs to properly function. One of the common symptoms includes increasing shortness of breath.
There is no cure for this disease but treatment can control the symptoms.
Who is likely to get pulmonary hypertension?
PH can affect people of all ages, races and socio-economics groups. Cases have been diagnosed from new born babies with a hole in their heart to those simply living at high altitude. It can also develop for no apparent reason in otherwise healthy people.
What are the symptoms?
The first symptom of PH is shortness of breath during routine activity, such as climbing stairs. Additional symptoms include:
- Dizziness or fainting spells
- Bluish lips and skin
- Chest pain or pressure
- A racing heartbeat
Not everyone experiences all these symptoms and they can vary in severity. PH can be difficult to diagnose. It is therefore important to provide healthcare providers with a complete medical history and a description of all symptoms so that they can make the right diagnosis.
What kind of doctors diagnose and treat pulmonary hypertension
People are encouraged to seek diagnosis and treatment from a PH specialist who will have the expertise and resources to diagnose and manage the disease.
PH is an uncommon but serious disease and general practitioners will have received little training or experience in PH treatment.
Who we are
The PVRI is an open, transparent and responsible organisation with sound constitutional governance. We have an inclusive, non-hierarchical culture where everyone is treated equally and fairly. We believe in the principle of equal opportunities.
We are a membership organisation specifically aimed at scientists and physicians, not patients. However, all our efforts are aimed at improving the care of patients with PVD and researching into a cure for PVD.
Our vision is to reduce the global burden of PVD with the next two decades. We will achieve this through global collaboration striving for excellent in clinical care, research and education in PVD.
How to get involved
If you are a patient or a member of the public who would like to support our work, please visit our website: https://pvrinstitute.org/en/supporters/ways-to-get-involved/
You can support us by donating at: https://pvrinstitute.org/en/supporters/donate/step-1/
If you are an academic or a trainee, you can become a member of the PVRI network which include an active membership of 1,250 PH professionals spanning 75 countries. The PVRI is unique in its vision and academic strength – our membership includes leaders in PVD from around the world, both in clinical medicine and basic science. They share their knowledge and experience, particularly with younger members.
Once you are a member, you can join the PVRI Task Forces which are our power houses. Task Forces are of two kinds: Regional and Disease and Specialty.
Any money raised for the PVRI will go directly towards two main purposes – education and research. Education is aimed at raising awareness of PVD throughout the world by educating doctors to better diagnose and manage the disease, so that patients can receive proper treatment as quickly as possible. Early accurate diagnosis is key to survival. It can often take up to 18-24 months for a patient to be accurately diagnosed by which time the disease has often advanced to a very serious stage and only little can be done to help. However, with accurate diagnosis within the first six months from onset of the disease, PVD can be managed and patients can receive vital medicines to help them. The PVRI runs large scientific meetings all over the world as well as Master Classes to educate doctors on how to diagnose and manage PVD in their patients.
We work closely with the pharmaceutical industry and drug regulatory bodies to develop new medicines. Our network has expanded to over 6,000 people spread across 75 different countries worldwide, including an active membership of 1,250 PH professionals. Including the most senior researchers in the field. We believe that our passions in PVD and our worldwide network makes it possible for our members to conduct basic, clinical and translational research at a level that no single individual or academic institution could accomplish.