Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About myPHteam
Powered By

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 1
People with class 1 pulmonary hypertension do not experience any PH symptoms, either at rest or with exercise.

Class 2
Pulmonary hypertension is considered class 2 when a person experiences no PH symptoms at rest but feels uncomfortable and short of breath while performing their usual daily activities.

Class 3
Someone with class 3 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 4
In class 4 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.

Find Your Team

On myPHteam, the social network for people with pulmonary hypertension and their loved ones, more than 46,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with those who understand life with PH.

Have you been diagnosed with PH? Share in the comments below, or start a conversation with others on your Activities page.

References

  1. Functional Classification of Pulmonary Hypertension — Pulmonary Hypertension R.N.
  2. Treatment Goals of Pulmonary Hypertension — Journal of the American College of Cardiology
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Kelly Crumrin is a senior editor at MyHealthTeam and leads the creation of content that educates and empowers people with chronic illnesses. Learn more about her here.

Related articles

Familial pulmonary arterial hypertension (FPAH) is a type of pulmonary arterial hypertension...

Understanding Heritable Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Familial pulmonary arterial hypertension (FPAH) is a type of pulmonary arterial hypertension...
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved updated boosters for messenger RNA...

New COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for Omicron: What To Know if You Have PH

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved updated boosters for messenger RNA...
Secondary pulmonary hypertension (PH) refers to any type of PH that is caused by an underlying health condition.

What Is Secondary Pulmonary Hypertension?

Secondary pulmonary hypertension (PH) refers to any type of PH that is caused by an underlying health condition.
Although pulmonary hypertension (PH) can be caused by many underlying conditions, in some cases,...

What Is Primary Pulmonary Hypertension?

Although pulmonary hypertension (PH) can be caused by many underlying conditions, in some cases,...
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) can arise from many underlying causes and conditions.

End-Stage Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) can arise from many underlying causes and conditions.
The CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have authorized and recommended a second COVID-19 booster shot for people 50 and over and those with immunocompromising conditions.

What People With Pulmonary Hypertension Should Know About Getting a Second COVID-19 Booster Shot

The CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have authorized and recommended a second COVID-19 booster shot for people 50 and over and those with immunocompromising conditions.

Recent articles

Rosetta is a 35-year-old woman living with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (iPAH). She...

My Life With PAH

Rosetta is a 35-year-old woman living with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (iPAH). She...
Treating PAH with two or more therapies, known as combination therapy, is an effective way to...

Finding the Best PAH Treatment: What Is Combination Therapy?

Treating PAH with two or more therapies, known as combination therapy, is an effective way to...
Endothelin is a small protein in the blood that helps regulate blood pressure. High levels of...

Endothelin and Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: 6 Things To Know

Endothelin is a small protein in the blood that helps regulate blood pressure. High levels of...
Whether you’ve been on combination therapy or are just starting it for pulmonary arterial...

5 Questions To Ask Your Doctor About PAH Combination Therapy

Whether you’ve been on combination therapy or are just starting it for pulmonary arterial...
Early on, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) doesn’t typically cause symptoms. However, many...

PAH and Swelling: 10 Things To Know

Early on, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) doesn’t typically cause symptoms. However, many...
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is high blood pressure of the arteries that take blood from...

Finding the Best PAH Treatment: 6 Facts To Know

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is high blood pressure of the arteries that take blood from...
myPHteam My pulmonary hypertension Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close