SymptomsPeople with Pulmonary Hypertension experience a range of symptoms that vary in intensity depending on the severity of their condition, however the most common symptom is


shortness of breath (dyspnoea) with no obvious cause during exertion or even at rest.

Patients may also experience some of the following symptoms1:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Dizziness especially climbing stairs
  • Fainting (syncope), weakness upon physical exertion
  • Chest pain, especially during physical activity
  • Palpitations
  • Swollen legs and ankles
  • Cough

These symptoms can occur at rest or more frequently during periods of mild exercise, or simply walking around.

As the right heart fails; symptom severity increases:

  • Worsening breathlessness
  • Worsening Fatigue
  • Marked ankle oedema
  • Throbbing sensation felt in the neck
  • Feeling of fullness in the abdomen (ascites)
  • Lips and fingernails may take on a bluish tint (Cyanosis)

Reviewed by Prof. Simon J Gibbs

Last medical update: 05/30/2020


  1. What Is Pulmonary Hypertension? – NHLBI, NIH“. NHLBI. 2 August 2011. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017.