Pulmonary Hypertension

Patient Conditions

Pulmonary Hypertension

About Our Program

The Pulmonary Hypertension Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to patients with all forms and stages of pulmonary hypertension. This specialized program within the Division of Cardiology provides initial consultation, establishes diagnosis and implements treatment for both primary and secondary forms of pulmonary hypertension.

Care is provided by a multidisciplinary team of experts in pulmonary hypertension, including physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, pharmacists and social workers skilled in counseling patients facing life-threatening illness.

The University of Maryland Pulmonary Hypertension Program participates in many clinical trials, studying combination and novel therapies for pulmonary hypertension.

More therapies are now available for this disease. Treatments can be highly complex and require intensive, ongoing follow-up, all of which are available through the Pulmonary Hypertension Program.

What is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a lung disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises far above normal levels. The small arteries of the lung narrow throughout the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension is the result of greater resistance to blood flow. As a result of the increased workload caused by this resistance, the right side of the heart becomes enlarged. Eventually, progressive right heart failure may develop.

When pulmonary hypertension occurs without a known cause, it is know as Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (IPAH)---meaning that there are no other diseases of the heart or lungs causing the high blood pressure.

The cause of IPAH is unknown. Some cases are inherited and that is known as familial PAH.

This disease is rare, but affects people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. It affects more women than men.

There are other forms of PAH where the cause is known. A common cause is collagen vascular diseseas such as scleroderma, lupus or Crest Syndrome. Congenital heart diseases such as ventricular and atrial septal defects, HIV infection, and liver disease are also possible causes of pulmonary hypertension.

For more information on pulmonary hypertension, visit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Web site.

Please call if you would like to make an appointment or talk to someone about our services. Patients dial 1-866-408-6885, physicians dial 410-328-6622 or 1-800-318-1019.

This page was last updated: September 15, 2014

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