Pulmonary hypertension
Alternative Terms: -

Hardly ever primary i.e. congenital, usually secondary i.e. resulting from a congenital cardiac defect, can develop in cardiac defects with shunts, e.g. a large hole in the VSD. Increased pressure in the left ventricle causes blood to be pumped from it into the right ventricle, which must also increase pumping capacity. The pulmonary vessels react by contracting the vascular smooth muscle, thereby increasing blood flow resistance. If the condition persists over a longer period of time the muscles become thicker, are transformed into connective tissue and the vascular walls become rigid (fixed pulmonal hypertension, Eisenmenger reaction)

Author(s): Kinderherzstiftung, Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Sticker, Hermine Nock
Last updated: 2009-04-28