Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About myPHteam

Classes of Pulmonary Hypertension

Posted on August 16, 2018
Article written by
Kelly Crumrin

The World Health Organization (WHO) developed a system of functional classes to describe the severity of pulmonary hypertension cases.

Knowing what type of pulmonary hypertension and functional class you have helps doctors decide which PH treatments will be most effective. One goal of treatment is to improve functional class. Progressing to a more severe functional class indicates that treatment is not working.

Functional Classes of Pulmonary Hypertension

WHO organizes PH into four classes based on the severity of the symptoms, specifically the limitations PH imposes upon activities.

Class I
People with class I pulmonary hypertension do not experience any PH symptoms, either at rest or with exercise.

Class II
Pulmonary hypertension is considered class II when a person experiences no PH symptoms at rest but feels uncomfortable and short of breath while performing their usual daily activities.

Class III
Someone with class III pulmonary hypertension may or may not experience symptoms at rest. Normal household chores and other daily activities are limited by extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. Symptoms may necessitate frequent breaks to rest.

Class IV
In class IV pulmonary hypertension, people experience symptoms at rest and during activity. Fainting is possible, especially when bending over. Edema (swelling) in the feet and ankles is common.

Read more about pulmonary hypertension symptoms and treatments.

Condition Guide

Resources

External resources

Kelly Crumrin is a senior editor at MyHealthTeams and leads the creation of content that educates and empowers people with chronic illnesses. Learn more about her here.

A myPHteam Member said:

My cousin had a double lung trantplant also, She went to china to have it done, U was shocked when she texted me to tell me she was leaving for china she made it there and back, she had a pretty rough… read more

posted 16 days ago

hug (2)

Recent articles

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a disease in which the pulmonary arteries (blood vessels) between...

Managing Fatigue and Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a disease in which the pulmonary arteries (blood vessels) between...
Effective communication between people with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and their...

How To Better Connect With Your Doctor About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Effective communication between people with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and their...
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a burdensome condition that can impact physical...

Quiz: Are You Feeling Your Best With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension?

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a burdensome condition that can impact physical...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine...

COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters and Additional Doses for People With Pulmonary Hypertension: Current Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine...
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is caused by high blood pressure in the arteries (known as pulmonary...

Pulmonary Hypertension: Prognosis and Life Expectancy

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is caused by high blood pressure in the arteries (known as pulmonary...
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a condition in which the blood vessels between the heart and the...

Difficulty Breathing and Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a condition in which the blood vessels between the heart and the...
Many different medications are available to treat pulmonary hypertension (PH). These treatments —...

Pulmonary Hypertension Treatments and Their Side Effects

Many different medications are available to treat pulmonary hypertension (PH). These treatments —...
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a rare form of pulmonary hypertension...

Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension — An Overview

Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a rare form of pulmonary hypertension...
Living with pulmonary hypertension (PH) comes with many challenges, including the possibility of...

Depression and Pulmonary Hypertension

Living with pulmonary hypertension (PH) comes with many challenges, including the possibility of...
In people with pulmonary hypertension (PH), treating seasonal allergies can be tricky. This can...

Managing Allergies and Pulmonary Hypertension

In people with pulmonary hypertension (PH), treating seasonal allergies can be tricky. This can...
myPHteam My pulmonary hypertension Team

Two Ways to Get Started with myPHteam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with pulmonary hypertension. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about pulmonary hypertension sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
myPHteam My pulmonary hypertension Team

Thank you for signing up.

close