Treatment is directed at the illness that is causing cor pulmonale. Supplemental oxygen may be prescribed to increase the level of oxygen in the blood.
There are many medicines available to treat cor pulmonale.
- Bosentan or sildenafil may be given by mouth
- Calcium channel blockers are often used to treat early cases
- Prostacyclin may be given through injection or breathing in (inhalation)
Blood thinning (anticoagulant) medications may also be prescribed. Surgery may be needed to reverse heart defects that cause the condition. In very advanced cases, a heart and lung transplant may be advised.
The outcome depends on the cause of the condition. Giving oxygen often improves symptoms, stamina, and survival.
Treating primary pulmonary hypertension often leads to greater stamina and a longer life. In some cases, a lung transplant or heart-lung transplant can extend survival.
Progressive pulmonary hypertension and cor pulmonale may lead to:
- Life-threatening shortness of breath
- Severe fluid retention
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if you experience shortness of breath or chest pain.
Review Date : 4/24/2009
Reviewed By : Allen J. Blaivas, DO, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine UMDNJ-NJMS, Attending Physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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