Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD) is a rare and serious lung disease that affects the blood vessels in the lungs. In PVOD, the small veins that carry blood from the lungs to the heart become narrowed and blocked, causing increased pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs.
The exact cause of PVOD is not fully understood, but it is believed to be the result of genetic mutations that affect the cells that line the blood vessels in the lungs. Certain risk factors, such as exposure to toxins or certain medications, may increase the risk of developing PVOD.
Symptoms of PVOD can include shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, chest pain, and edema, or swelling, in the legs and ankles. The symptoms of PVOD can be similar to those of other lung diseases, such as pulmonary hypertension, which can make diagnosis challenging.
Treatment for PVOD typically involves medications to help lower blood pressure in the lungs and improve blood flow, such as vasodilators or diuretics. Oxygen therapy may also be used to help improve oxygen levels in the blood. In severe cases, lung transplantation may be necessary.
The prognosis for PVOD can be poor, as the disease is often difficult to diagnose and can progress quickly. However, with appropriate treatment and careful management of symptoms, some people with PVOD can live for many years after their diagnosis.