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Pathophysiology and causes of pulmonary hypertension 

Pathophysiology and causes of pulmonary hypertension
Pathophysiology and causes of pulmonary hypertension

Laura Price

and S. John Wort

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date: 18 May 2022

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in the setting of critical illness may reflect the acute syndrome itself (such as acute massive pulmonary embolism or acute lung injury), and/or pre-existing ‘chronic’ causes of PH. To compound this, iatrogenic factors may also contribute to PH including the effects of positive pressure ventilation and certain vasoactive drugs. The presence of PH, especially when complicated by resulting right ventricular (RV) dysfunction and failure, is a poor prognostic feature in all settings. This chapter reviews the pathophysiology of acute PH in critical illness, and pre-existing chronic causes of PH, including acute decompensation in patients with pre-existing pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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