When pressures remain too high for too long, the RV becomes so stretched out that it cannot contract effectively. This is called congestive right-heart failure or cor pulmonale. ("Failure" does not mean that the heart has stopped, it means that it can't pump our all the blood in it into the lungs.) When your RV fails, there is a backup of pressure into veins throughout your body, and you swell with fluid, especially in your legs, liver, abdomen, and the spaces in your chest surrounding your lungs. In PAH, your right atrium also tends to get bigger, because of back pressure from the RV.
There is good news: when the pressures in your lungs lessen (because of medications or a transplantation of a new lung or both lungs), your heart tends to return back to its normal size. Perhaps after treatment, you may no longer have congestive heart failure. But if your heart has been stressed so long that scar tissue has formed in its structure, it is still damaged.
There is so much information on PH that one person alone can not tell it all please visit our site at http://www.phassociation.org/ and learn as much as you can, you can also visit some of the my friends' site under "My Unique Phriends", (right hand side of the page) they to share alot of on PH as well. there are so many people are suffering with this disease you wouldn't imagine. From infants to adults. Please pray many are in need of a cure or touch from God.
My Personal note:
I have PH caused by the blood clots that went from my heart to my lungs. I make blood clots due to lupus anticoagulant (an autoimmune deficiency) I have, so for now my treatment is to take blood thinners called Warfarin daily to prevent more clots in my lungs. I also have to take water pills (lasix) to help with fluid build up. I am not on medications to treat PH because they still have to rule out if I have a heart problem or just a lung problem or both. PH is VERY hard to diagnose, I first learned about PH in March 08' when I was told I had it.
The Drs. have to keep testing me so that they can figure out what which medications are right for me. Not every medicine out there for PH is for every one - certain medicine are for certain things. But once they diagnosed you with PH, you need to find a PH specialist who deals with PH. At our web site you can find a specialist in your area by going to the section that says "Find a Doctor". Both my heart dr. and PH dr. are working hand in hand to get the proper treatment for me.