Pulmonary Hypertension Acronym Decoder

Use this alphabetical list of acronyms and abbreviations to help demystify the “PH-speak” you run across at the doctor’s office, during support group meetings, and in PHA’s online communities.

Print the PH Acronym Decoder (PDF)

6MWT six-minute walk test
ABG arterial blood gas
ACHD adult congenital heart disease
AF atrial fibrillation
AI aortic insufficiency, also known as aortic regurgitation
ANA antinuclear antibody, a screening test for suspected connective tissue disease
APAH associated pulmonary arterial hypertension
ARF acute renal failure
AS aortic stenosis
ASD atrial septal defect
ATS American Thoracic Society
ATS PAR American Thoracic Society’s Public Advisory Roundtable
AV atrioventricular
AXR abdominal X-Ray
Bid twice a day
BiPAP bilevel positive airway pressure, a method of respiratory ventilation used in the treatment of sleep apnea
BMPR2 bone morphogenetic protein receptor II, the “PH gene”
BNP/proBNP b-type natriuretic peptide (an indicator of heart failure symptoms)
BP blood pressure
BPM beats per minute
BSL  blood sugar level
BUN blood urea nitrogen, a test to measure renal function
Ca calcium
CAD coronary artery disease
Cath catheter (thin tube) or catheterization
CBC complete blood count
CBC complete blood count
CCB calcium channel blocker
CCF or CHF congestive heart failure
CF cystic fibrosis
CHD congenital heart disease
CI cardiac index
CO cardiac output
COAD chronic obstructive airways disease
COAGS coagulation studies
COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COAD
CPAP continuous positive airway pressure
CPR cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CREAT creatinine
CREST syndrome limited form of scleroderma named for its common symptoms: calcinosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly and telangiectasia
CRF chronic renal failure
CRS “can’t remember squat,” an informal term for memory loss
CT or CAT Scan computerized tomography
CTD connective tissue disease
CTEPH chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
CVC Caring Voice Coalition
CVD collagen vascular disease, also known as connective tissue disease
CVP central venous pressure
CXR chest x-ray
DLCO diffusion lung capacity for carbon monoxide, part of the pulmonary function test
DO dissolved oxygen (in the blood)
DNR/DNAR do not resuscitate/do not attempt resuscitation
DVT deep vein thrombosis
Dx diagnosis, diagnosed
ECG/EKG electrocardiogram
ECHO echocardiogram (ultrasound of heart)
EPAP exhalation positive air pressure
ER/ED emergency room/emergency department
ETRA or ERA endothelin receptor antagonist
FBC  full blood count
FCCP Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians (a title given to a doctor who specializes in pulmonology, thoracic surgery and critical care medicine)
FEV forced expiratory volume
FPAH familial pulmonary arterial hypertension
FVC forced vital capacity
GP general practitioner doctor
Hb hemoglobin
HCG pregnancy test
HCT hematocrit, or the proportion of blood volume occupied by red blood cells
HHT hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
HR heart rate
HRQoL health-related quality of life
HTN hypertension
ICU intensive care unit
INR international normalized ratio (standardized measurement for blood clotting)
IPAH idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension
IPAP inhalation positive air pressure
IV intravenous
JVP jugular venous pressure
K potassium
LA left atrium
LFT liver function test
LLL left lower lobe
LPN licensed practical nurse
LUL left upper lobe
LV left ventricle
LVH left ventricular hypertrophy
MAP mean arterial pressure
MCTD mixed connective tissue disease
Mg magnesium
MI myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack
mmHg millimeters of mercury
MPAP mean pulmonary arterial pressure
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
MSN Master of Science in Nursing (professional degree)
Na sodium
NHLBI National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NP nurse practitioner
NSAID non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs
OB obliterative bronchiolitis, chronic rejection of a lung after transplantation
O2 oxygen
O2 Sats oxygen saturation (percentage of oxygen in the blood)
PA pulmonary artery
PAH pulmonary arterial hypertension
PAP pulmonary artery pressure
PASP pulmonary artery systolic pressure, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg)
PAT paroxysymal atrial tachycardia
Path pathology
PCP primary care physician
PCWP pulmonary capillary wedge pressure or wedge
PE pulmonary embolus
PEEP positive end expiratory pressure
PFT pulmonary function test
PH pulmonary hypertension
PHCR PH Clinicians and Researchers
PHPN PH Professional Network (formerly PH Resource Network)
Plt  platelets
PO by mouth
PPH primary pulmonary hypertension, now called IPAH
PPHN persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
PRN as needed
PTE pulmonary thromboembolism, pulmonary thromboendarterectomy
PVR pulmonary vascular resistance
q4h, q6h…. every 4 hours, every 6 hours, etc.
qid four times a day
QoL quality of life
RA rheumatoid arthritis or right atrium
RHC right heart catheterization
RLL right lower lobe
RML right middle lobe
RN registered nurse
RUL right upper lobe
RV right ventricle
RVH right ventricular hypertrophy
RVSP right ventricular systolic pressure, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), found on an echocardiogram report
RX prescriptio
Rx treatment
SC subcutaneous
SG support group
Sl sublingual
SLC Scientific Leadership Council
SLE systemic lupus erythematous
SOB short of breath, shortness of breath
SPH or SPAH secondary pulmonary (arterial) hypertension, now known as associated pulmonary hypertension
STAT immediately
SQ subcutaneous
Tid or Tds three times a day
TLC total lung capacity
TR jet tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity, measured in meters per second (m/s)
TV tidal volume
TX treatment
Tx transplant
UA urinalysis
UEC urea, electrolytes, creatinine (blood chemistry)
US ultrasound
V/Q Scan ventilation – perfusion scan
VC vital capacity
VO2 volume oxygen, a measure of the amount of oxygen that the body takes in and uses
VSD ventricular septal defect
WHO World Health Organization


This list was adapted from a resource created by PHA Australia. Updated in July 2013 by Crystal Weber, RN.