Causes of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

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It is not easy to establish the cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension, since in many cases its presence can be associated with other pre-existing diseases. The evolution will be different depending on the cause of the disease; therefore, a classification is established based on its possible cause.

Magnifying glass with a question mask

Unknown origin (idiopathic).

Family and family tree indicating hereditary factors


Image of a crossed out pill

Use of medicines or toxic substances.


Other processes (e.g. HIV infection, connective tissue disease, portal hypertension or congenital heart disease).

Risk factors for pulmonary arterial hypertension can be associated with the consumption of:

Medicines, pills

Some drugs that reduce hunger (anorectics) such as aminorex, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine.

Three Aspirins

Drugs such as amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine and chemotherapeutic agents.

Rapeseed oil

Toxics, such as rapeseed oil.

It can also be associated with other diseases:

Man with skin blemishes

Connective tissue diseases, such as scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Heart with a blocked artery causing a heart attack

Congenital systemic-pulmonary shunts, such as some congenital heart diseases.

Increased blood pressure

 Portal hypertension (increased blood pressure in the portal vein).


HIV infection.

Substantiated information by:

Isabel Blanco Vich
Joan A. Barberà Mir

Published: 23 November 2021
Updated: 1 December 2021

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