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Conditions

Symptoms & Risk Factors

Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is high blood pressure in the lungs. This happens when the blood vessels in the lungs are blocked by a clot that prevents normal blood flow and causes pressure in the vessels to build. Normally, CTEPH occurs after a pulmonary embolism (PE) — a sudden blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lung.

Symptoms

Many people who develop CTEPH do not experience symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms start to develop, they can include:

Later Stage Symptoms

  • Feeling faint or fainting after exertion
  • Swelling of the legs or abdomen
  • Bluish tint to extremities (fingers and toes)

Severe Cases

Risk Factors

The following conditions can lead to a pulmonary embolism:

  • Being sedentary for long periods of time (i.e. a prolonged hospitalization/illness or air/car travel)
  • Taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Minority of people who take blood thinners are able to clear PEs, but could still develop CTEPH for unclear reasons

Other Risk Factors