Heart - Cardiology & Cardiovascular Surgery

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects your lungs. It is important to get care as early as possible. The first step is to obtain a proper diagnosis. But diagnosing PH can be difficult. You may have the condition for months or even years before you feel any of the symptoms. At Mount Sinai, our doctors have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating this condition. 

Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension

It can be difficult to diagnose PH as its symptoms resemble other conditions such as heart failure and arrhythmias. The first signs are often feeling tired and short of breath when you exercise or exert yourself. Over time, you may feel tired or winded with lighter activity or even while at rest. Other symptoms may include:

  • Ankle and leg swelling
  • Bluish color of the lips or skin (cyanosis)
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Dizziness or fainting spells
  • Increased abdominal size
  • Weakness 


Early PH and PAH can mimic many other diseases. That’s why our first step is to rule out those other possibilities. To do so, we often conduct testing that may include:

Treatments We Offer

There is no cure for PH. To improve your symptoms and quality of life and slow the progression of the disease, we may prescribe one or more of these therapies, depending on your individual medical situation:

  • Oral therapies (pills/tablets/capsules)
  • Intravenous therapies (medication administered via a pump via a special implanted IV)
  • Subcutaneous therapies (medication administered via pump through a special access on your skin)
  • Inhaled therapies (medication that you breathe in)

We might also prescribe:

  • Blood thinners to reduce the risk of blood clots, especially if your disease is idiopathic
  • Oxygen therapy at home
  • Lung, or in some cases, heart-lung transplant
  • Non-invasive treatments

We may also recommend that you join our on-site bi-monthly support group, sponsored by Pulmonary Hypertension Association.