Is my PH due to lung disease?


Lung disease is a common cause of PH. The possibility of lung disease must be assessed by specific tests:

(1) Breathing tests (also known as pulmonary function tests = PFTs). These tests measure how much air your lungs can hold and the flow of air in and out of your lungs. PFTs also measure how well the lungs exchange gas (oxygen and carbon dioxide). Lung diseases that may cause PH include:

  • Emphysema of the lungs or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) due to smoking
  • Scarring of the lungs (also known as fibrosis)

(2) Chest x-ray is a common test used to look for lung disease that may cause PH:

  • Emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) due to smoking
  • Scarring of the lungs (also known as fibrosis)

(3) Computerized tomography (CT) scan of your lungs.

  • A CT scan is a specialized x-ray test that shows the lungs in two-dimensional "slices"
  • Another type of CT scan is a CT angiogram in which injection of an x-ray dye (also known as contrast material) into a vein is used to better see blood vessels and to look for blood clots (also known as pulmonary embolism) in the pulmonary arteries
  • Risks of a CT scan involve exposure to x-ray radiation, as well as possible allergic reaction to the x-ray dye
  • CT scan of the lungs is used to better diagnose lung disease such as emphysema of the lung, and scarring of the lung (also known as pulmonary fibrosis)

CT angiogram can diagnose the presence of clots in the lungs (also known as pulmonary embolism)

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs)

Computed Tomography (CT Scan)