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  • Angina Pectoris ? Usually called Angina, which is a sense of pain or pressure around the heart on the left side of the chest area. The pain can also radiate up into the jaw and down the left arm. Pain can last for a few seconds or several minutes.
  • Angiogram ? An x- ray picture of blood vessels after a radiopaque dye is injected to make the vessels more visible this procedure is usually carried out in the catheter Lab.
  • Anticoagulants ? Warfarin and heparin are two examples they are used to thin the blood and prevent blood clot.
  • Antidepressant ? Medicine use to treat low mood.
  • Atrial Fibrillation ? Irregular pulse rate also called an Arrhythmia.
  • Ascites ? Fluid in the abdominal cavity leading to swelling around the waist area.



  • Bosentan ? Also called Tracleer an oral medication used to treat pulmonary hypertension.
  • BMPR2 - The full name is bone morphogenetic protein receptor II and mutations on it have been linked to both familial and sporadic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.



  • Clinic appointments ? Patients usually are seen at the SPVU return clinic on a 3 monthly basis we also have a separate clinic for our new patients referrals.
  • Collagen Vascular Disease ? Also called Connective tissue disease. Disorders affecting joints, muscle and bones. Types associated with pulmonary hypertension include Lupus, Scleroderma and mixed Connective tissue disease.
  • COPD - Stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Obstruction of the small airways in the lungs associated with chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • Cyanosis ? Blue tinge usually around lips, noise and ears.



  • Digoxin ? An oral medicine given to patients to strengthen the right ventricle of the heart.
  • Diuretic ? An example would be frusmide, which helps you to pass more urine and remove excessive fluid from you body. Also called a water tablet.



  • Epoprostenol sodium ? Also called Flolan is a prostanoid. It has several beneficial effects for pulmonary hypertension patients including vasodilatation, remodelling the vascular bed and reducing the likely hood of blood clots. Flolan is given continuously via an intravenous Hickman line.
  • ECG ? Stands for electro-cardio-gram. A test that records the electrical activity produced by the heart. The ECG can pick up abnormalities of heart rhythm and can give us information on whether the heart is enlarged or working under strain.
  • Echo ? Short for Echocardiogram the doctor uses sound waves to look at the structure of the heart, its size and the thickness of the heart muscle.



  • Functional classification for Pulmonary Hypertension ? Patients are placed into one of four possible classes, which class you are placed into will depend on your symptoms. Patients can move in and out of these classes depending on how they are feeling and presenting to the medical staff.



  • Hickman Line ? Is a fine silicone catheter, which is inserted into the superior vena cava a vessel near the heart it is used to administer intravenous Flolan.
  • Home delivery service ? We use a company called Clinovia to deliver Pulmonary Hypertension medicine and any ancillary supplies (syringes, needles ect) directly to the patient?s home address. All other medication comes from your General Practitioner.
  • Hypertension ? Abnormally high blood pressure.
  • Hypotension - Abnormally low blood pressure.
  • Hypoxia ? A low concentration of oxygen in the blood.



  • Idiopathic ? Without a recognizable cause.
  • Idiopathic pulmonary arterial pulmonary hypertension ? formally called primary pulmonary hypertension where the cause of the PH is unknown.
  • Iloprost ?A drug used to treat pulmonary hypertension. Is a prostanoid similar to Flolan, however more stable and can be given as an inhaled therapy or Intravenously.
  • INR ? Stands for international normalised ratio. If you are on warfarin the INR level is checked on a regular basis.
  • Intravenous ? The prescribed drug is administered via a vein.



  • MRI ? stands for magnetic resonance imaging. This scan uses a strong magnetic field to scan your chest area looking in particular at your lungs and heart.



  • NO ? Stands for nitric oxide a potent vasodilator in gas form. We use the NO test to check if you are what we called a responder to the vasodilator gas.



  • Oxygen probe ? A small probe (sensor) is placed on your finger to measures the concentration of oxygen in your capillary beds. This can show if the oxygen level is running low.
  • Oxygen ? Some patients require oxygen when they are at home and are supplied with a machine called an oxygen concentrator that plugs into the wall. Patients are asked to use the oxygen as required. The oxygen should help relieve breathlessness and reduce strain on the heart.



  • Palpitation ? A sensation in the chest, that patients have described as a racing or a throbbing heart beat.
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension ? is a rare and complex condition that requires management by specialist centres. The centres are located in Western Infirmary, Glasgow. Newcastle, Freeman Hospital. Sheffield, Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Cambridge, Papworth. London has for sites - Great Ormond Street Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, Royal Bromptom Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital.
  • PHA - UK ? Stands for pulmonary hypertension association and is a registered charity. It is the patients and carers group for pulmonary hypertension in the Unit Kingdom. This group can offer you up to date advice on how to live with pulmonary hypertension and report any new developments in the field of pulmonary hypertension. Web site address http//www.pha-uk.com. Telephone Number 01709-761-450.
  • Pulmonary ?relating to the lungs.
  • Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT?S) ? These are a set of breathing tests that gives the medical staff information about how well you lungs are functioning. For example how much air is moved in and out of your lungs, how much air your lungs can hold and how much oxygen is exchanged.



  • Quality of Life Questionnaire ? The quality of life questionnaire called CAMPHOR is handed out at clinics and also when you are admitted to hospital. It consists of questions about how your breathing has been and how you are feeling. The questionnaire is scored and we use the result to monitor your progress.



  • Raynaud?s phenomenon ? Fingers become cold and blue easily even in warm weather and can be an indication that the person has a vascular problem which in the minority of cases may lead to pulmonary hypertension.
  • Remodulin ? Is a protanoid that has a longer life than Flolan. It usually is given subuctenously as a continuous infusion however there are studies that are being planned to do further research to see if we could give it intravenous or as an inhaled preparation.
  • Revatio ? Also known as Sildenafil. Oral medication for pulmonary hypertension.
  • Right heart catheterisation ? This is a procedure carried out in a special labartory called a Cath Lab. Under x ray guidance a small silcoline catheter (tube) is passed via a vein at the top of your leg or a vein in your neck into the pulmonary artery measurements are recorded. The procedure is not painful and the information gathered is very important in confirming the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.



  • Secondary Pulmonary Hypertension ? Pulmonary hypertension that is caused by a pre-existing disease.
  • Share Care Pro Forma ? We work with the General Practitioner and Referring Consultant and District Nurses, keeping them updated on the patient?s progress.



  • Treatment options ? Your pulmonary hypertension specialist will discuss with you what treatment option is best for you. You are usually seen 3 monthly at our pulmonary vascular clinic so that we can check on your progress. Treatments available Epoprostenol, Iloprost, Treprostinil, Bosentan, Thelin, Sildenafil. Current trial medication not yet licensed - Tadalafil and Ambrisentan.



  • Vasodilators ? Examples are Diltiazem and Nifedipine, which are given in tablet form. They widen and relax the pulmonary arteries reducing the pressure and improve the blood supply to the lungs.
  • VQ Lung Scan ? also called a ventilation and perfusion scan. The scan looks at both the air supply and blood supply to the lungs and compares them. This scan will indicate if there are any small blood clots present.



  • Warfarin ? An anticoagulant and is used to thin the blood and prevent clot.
  • 6-minute walk test ? The distance (measured in meters) a person can walk on a flat surface over 6 minutes.

SCOTTISH PULMONARY VASCULAR UNIT - All rights reserved - Clydebank, Scotland - 0141 951 5497 - SPVUnit@gjnh.scot.nhs.uk