Pulmonary Hypertension

Nationally Recognized Pulmonary Hypertension Experts

University Hospitals’ pulmonary specialists provide the full spectrum of services for pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the lungs. These services include an appropriate and accurate diagnosis, approved and experimental therapies. For severe cases of pulmonary hypertension that has caused significant lung damage, our team is able to provide lung transplants.

Experts also perform special evaluations, treatments, and surgeries for subsets of pulmonary hypertension such as chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH).

Patients trust University Hospitals with their lung health because of our experience and expertise:

  • University Hospitals meets national and international guidelines as a care center for pulmonary hypertension. Referring physicians can send us their patients with confidence.
  • Our pulmonary leadership has over 20 years of experience working specifically with pulmonary hypertension. Our team is involved in some of the latest clinical trials and hold membership on the scientific leadership council for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

Accurate Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosis

Pulmonary hypertension is a serious and chronic condition that can lead to heart failure if left untreated. It is also difficult to diagnose.

An inaccurate diagnosis can waste time and money on therapies that don’t help. Plus, it keeps patients from getting the help they need. At University Hospitals, we know what pulmonary hypertension is - and as importantly - what it isn’t.

Our specialists perform a series of tests and evaluations to make sure patients get the right diagnosis. Diagnostic tests include:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Perfusion lung scan
  • Cardiac catheterization of the right side of the heart
  • Blood tests

Advanced Surgical Procedures for Pulmonary Hypertension

The pulmonary program at University Hospitals provides specialized surgeries only available in a small number of facilities across the country. Lung specialists work alongside cardiovascular experts to perform advanced procedures such as:

  • Lung transplantation: The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) recognizes University Hospitals as a certified center for patients with advanced or end-stage lung disease in need of a lung transplant.
  • Lung volume reduction surgery: In this procedure, surgeons remove diseased tissue so that healthy lung tissue can work more effectively. While lung volume reduction is only appropriate for a small number of people, its benefits are dramatic for those suffering from advanced emphysema.

    Members of our team are nationally recognized leaders in the field of lung volume reduction, serving on the original team that defined the parameters, surgical techniques and appropriate patient selection for this pulmonary surgery procedure. Research and implementation at University Hospitals began over 15 years ago and continues to this day.

  • Diaphragm pacing: One of our UH pulmonary specialists served on the original research team for diaphragm pacing. This is a procedure in which the nerve of the diaphragm muscle receives electrical stimulation. For patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), diaphragm pacing can improve breathing and quality of life.
  • Pulmonary endarterectomy: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) can be caused by an unresolved pulmonary embolism - a blockage in one of the lung’s arteries. It sets up a dangerous series of events including raising the pressure in the lungs. University Hospitals is one of only a few dozen facilities across the country to offer pulmonary endarterectomy, a procedure to remove these hardened blood clots.

Mobile ECMO: Heart-and-Lung Life Support at any Time

ECMO, which stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, is a life-saving technology that requires a team of specialists to operate and monitor. UH has such a team in place, ready to provide around-the-clock care for patients with advanced respiratory failure. ECMO functions as the heart and lungs of a severely sick patient during the healing process.

University Hospitals offers ECMO as a bedside treatment, as well as mobile ECMO. A team of specialists can go to a distant care facility, mechanically support a critical patient to stabilize, and then transport the patient to our main campus to receive treatments they can’t get elsewhere.

Quality Pulmonary Care through Collaboration

The pulmonary specialists at University Hospitals believe that collaborating with other physicians delivers the best outcomes for patients. That’s why we work closely with primary care physicians, thoracic specialists and cardiovascular experts. Your team will support you through every phase of pulmonary hypertension, from diagnosis to treatment, rehabilitation and beyond.

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