PAH results from abnormal changes in the walls of the pulmonary arteries that cause the arteries to narrow, making it harder for blood to flow through them. It is not clear what triggers the changes in the arteries that lead to PAH, but once the process begins, it tends to progress over time.
Unlike regular (systemic) hypertension, which can be detected using a blood pressure cuff on your arm, PAH requires special tests to diagnose. If your doctor thinks you may have PAH, he or she will schedule a series of tests to determine if your symptoms are the result of PAH or another illness.
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