The UPMC Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Program; Respiratory Reader Fall 2019

December 9, 2019

The UPMC Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Program 

Since 2009, the UPMC Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Program has been diagnosing, treating, and following patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that combines the expertise of cardiologists, pulmonologists, sleep specialists, and transplant and cardiothoracic surgeons in the evaluation and treatment of pulmonary vascular disease, our program is well-suited to manage complex patient cases that present diverse etiologies and pulmonary hypertension.

We offer our patients effective and efficient care through:

Early referral: Patients who are evaluated and treated for PH early in the disease process have improved outcomes. Ideally, we should see patients in the early stages of their diagnosis, and even before a formal diagnosis has been made, when there is suspicion by clinical symptoms
or echocardiogram. We also see patients with a long-standing diagnosis who are already
on therapy, but whose physicians are seeking another opinion, or are interested in advanced intravenous therapy or evaluation for surgery or transplantation.

Rapid diagnostic evaluation: Our goal is to provide the highest level of comprehensive and expedited care. We strive to complete all testing within weeks of the initial visit. For non-local
or more symptomatic patients, we can often accommodate a clinic visit to conduct any remaining tests or right heart catheterization within a two-day period.

Initiating or modifying therapy: Our clinic has cultivated a close relationship between patient care and clinical/translational research. UPMC is currently involved in more than nine clinical
studies,
and therefore can offer many patients novel therapies. In addition to enrollment in clinical trials, our nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, and case managers help navigate the path to implementation of FDA-approved therapies.

Pulmonary Hypertension Group:
Types of Conditions We Help Manage

Group I
Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)

Drug-induced PAH

PAH associated with connective tissue disease

HIV-associated PAH

Congenital heart disease

Group II
Diastolic dysfunction

Systolic dysfunction

Valvular heart disease

Group III
Parenchymal lung diseases due to emphysema or interstitial lung disease

Sleep disordered breathing

Group IV
Chronic thromboembolic disease

Group V
Pulmonary hypertension associated with other diagnoses (e.g., sarcoidosis, sickle cell disease)


Follow-up care:
Our policy is to follow up with each patient after their initial visit to our clinic. In addition, should we identify other conditions related to the patient’s PH, such as connective tissue disease, liver disease, or other conditions, we can easily refer them for their respective clinical evaluation, as we work closely with physicians in the many divisions throughout UPMC.

Referrals: We recognize that patients may already have a pulmonologist or cardiologist involved in their care. Our goal is to work with the patient’s existing team in the co-management of the patient. All referred patients will return to the referral center for continued follow-up. We look forward to working with clinicians in helping serve the needs of patients with PH. To make referrals, please call 1-877-PH4-UPMC or email PHprogram@upmc.edu.