Chronically low blood levels of oxygen may lead to pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs), and possibly to cor pulmonale. Cor pulmonale is also called right-sided heart failure, and is characterized by enlargement of the right ventricle. Treatment targets the underlying illness and may include supplemental oxygen, a low-salt diet or calcium channel blockers.
Last reviewed 5/30/2013 by Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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