Pulmonary Hypertension Expert Forum
Pulmonary Hypertension and Herpes Virus 8
About This Forum:

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition associated with high blood pressure in the arteries that connect your heart with your lungs. It is a serious condition for which there are many emerging treatments but no definite cure. In this disease, the blood vessels that carry oxygen-poor blood from your heart to your lungs become hard and narrow, which causes your heart to work harder to pump the blood. This forum is a place to ask questions about Pulmonary Hypertension. Some examples are: What caused me to get pulmonary hypertension? How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed? What treatment options are available?

IMPORTANT!! If you have a question that requires immediate medical attention, or if you think you may have an emergency situation, please call your doctor or 911 IMMEDIATELY!

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Pulmonary Hypertension and Herpes Virus 8

Dr. Rich  My friend has been diagnosed with idiopathic primary pulmonary  artery hypertension.  He is 51 and is on oxygen and various medications.  I was looking on the web for more information on his condition and treatments.  I read an article on Wikipedia that says that there may be a link between herpes virus 8 and this condition.  I know that herpes 8 causes Kaposi's Sarcoma in people whose immune systems are compromised and that the virus can be transmitted in saliva.  My friend is not immuno compromised.  Is it possible that this virus caused his condition?  We are both heterosexual.  If he did have this virus am I or his family at risk of getting the virus and developing pulmonary hypertension from casual contact with him?

Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
1884349_tn?1353818598
Hello and welcome to the forum.

First, I am sorry to hear about your friend and his condition.

Regarding your question about HHV-8 and pulmonary hypertension:  In 2003, a study was published suggesting an association between this virus and idiopathic PH.  Two subsequent studies were performed which did not find this association to be true in the end.  So, the jury in some respects is still out in terms of whether his virus: a) has any role in "causing" the PH and/or b) whether it simply happens to be a common innocent bystander in patients with idiopathic PH but has no role in causing the disease or c) none of the above at all.

Most importantly, however, you or anybody else who is in contact with him has NOTHING to worry about in terms of developing PH.  This includes via touching, exchange of bodily fluids, etc.  This includes if he has or has ever had that particular virus (which, by the way, is a very common virus that kids get all the time and causes a "cold").  There is nothing at all to worry about.  In fact, I encourage any and all of his friends and family to hug him/kiss him, hold his hand, etc as he deals with this difficult illness.  There is nothing at all to worry about here (but thank you for your excellent question).

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Dr. Rich
3 Comments
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your response Dr. Rich!  Just to be clear are you saying that HHV-8 which causes Kaposi's Sarcoma is only dangerous to people whose immune systems are compromised by HIV or for some other reason?

Thanks again for your help!
Blank
1884349_tn?1353818598
This is essentially what I am saying.  It is a virus (like many), which can contribute to medical conditions in those whose immune systems are suppressed (ie in HIV like you suggested).  One day, we might learn more about this and other viruses but for now, nothing for you to worry about in terms of his "HHV-8 status".

Best,

Dr. Rich
Blank
This Forum's Experts
1884349_tn?1353818598
Jonathan D. Rich, MDBlank
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Chicago, IL
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank