Fast Five Quiz: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Treatment

Vikramjit Khangoora, MD


June 02, 2022

Functional class (FC) is a measure of disease severity. The WHO FC system classifies patients with PAH into FC 1-4 on the basis of the degree of debilitating symptoms: dyspnea, fatigue, chest pain, and syncope. This classification is used to guide treatment. FC can be assessed at the time of diagnosis and at subsequent follow-ups to monitor response to treatment. Regardless of the etiology, improvement to low-risk status is the goal of treatment. Low-risk status is associated with FC 1 or 2 and good exercise capacity, quality of life, and right ventricle function.

Echocardiography is an important tool used during follow-ups of patients with PAH to monitor pulmonary artery pressure (PAP), pulmonary vascular resistance, improvement in right ventricular function, cardiac output, and tricuspid regurgitation. However, the systolic PAP measured at rest is not recommended to guide therapeutic decision-making. In addition, a 6-minute walk distance of 380-440 m is suggestive of improvement in prognosis.

Learn more about pulmonary arterial hypertension.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.