Ace the Case: A 53-Year-Old Woman with Shortness of Breath on Exertion
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Summary and References
Pulmonary arterial hypertension, although uncommon, leads to significant mortality, morbidity, and healthcare costs for affected patients. Given its rarity and complex pathophysiology, PAH is often misdiagnosed and suboptimally treated. Physicians should maintain a high index of suspicion when patients present with dyspnea on exertion and know the criteria to look for on echocardiogram. All patients with suspected PAH should be referred immediately for a right-heart catheterization so that treatment can be started. New research has shown that combination therapy, targeting one or more pathological processes in PAH, is preferred to monotherapy. Early treatment is critical as well. By starting early combination treatment, clinicians can improve survival and quality of life for patients with PAH.
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