Is PH due to blood clots in the lungs?

Yes, in some patients, PH can be due to blood clots in the lungs (also known as pulmonary embolism). After pulmonary embolism, up to 4% of patients may develop PH within 2 years.

All patients diagnosed with PH should be assessed for the presence of blood clots in the lungs. This is because of several reasons:

  • Pulmonary embolism is a common cause of PH
  • Treatment with blood thinners (also known as anti-coagulants) can greatly decrease the risk of recurrent pulmonary embolism
  • In some patients with PH due to pulmonary embolism, surgery to remove the blood clots (also known as pulmonary thromboendarterectomy) may be very effective in treating the PH

Blood Clots in the Lungs