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Care and Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension

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Why Choose Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) at University of Colorado Hospital?

The Pulmonary Hypertension Center at University of Colorado Hospital is one of the leading PH centers in the United States and the world.

The specialists who practice at the center treat a large proportion of patients in the Rocky Mountain region.

PH patients who come to our center receive state-of-the-art medical care as well as the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, where new and promising PH treatments are evaluated for effectiveness.

What is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the lungs. The disease is either idiopathic (no known cause), or can occur in association with other conditions, including:

Pulmonary hypertension affects women about twice as often as men. Although it usually occurs in women between the ages of 20 and 40, it can occur in either sex at any age.

 

Learn about our current clinical trials

Tests & Treatments

Testing for Pulmonary Hypertension

The symptoms of pulmonary hypertension are often vague and mimic other diseases. One or more of the following tests may be needed to correctly diagnose pulmonary hypertension.

 

Echocardiogram (ECHO) to identify areas of the heart that are contracting irregularly. The ECHO uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart.

 

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) determines the rate and regularity of the heartbeat.

 

Cardiac catheterization determines the pressure on the heart and the blood vessels feeding it. The catheterization procedure requires a small tube to be inserted in an artery or vein the arm or thigh and passed through to the heart. An injection of dye allows your doctor to see the pattern of blood flow to and through the pulmonary artery.

 

CT scans to take X-ray pictures of the chest.

 

Pulmonary function tests to assess lung capacity.

 

Ventilation/perfusion (VQ) scan shows blood and oxygen flow through the lungs. The VQ scan uses gamma radiation to produce a picture of the lungs.

 

Oximetry measures the saturation of oxygen in the blood.

 

Sleep Study measures breathing overnight.

 

Pulmonary Hypertension Treatments

 

Medications  used to treat pulmonary hypertension correct imbalances in the hormones that control the widening and narrowing of blood vessels.

 

Oxygen is also used to treat PH.

 

Lung Transplant may be indicated for some patients if medication fails to control pulmonary hypertension and the lungs are severely damanged. Learn more.

Patient Education and Resources

Getting a Second Opinion about Pulmonary Hypertension

The doctors and staff at University of Colorado Hospital are happy to provide second opinions for patients who have pulmonary hypertension.

 

Pulmonary Hypertension Support Groups

 

Denver Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group. Meets second Sunday of the month in Jan, Mar, May, July, Sep, Nov

  • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Kaiser Permanente, 5555 E. Arapahoe Road, Centennial

 

For more information, call Barbara Nichols at (303) 637-0578.

 

Colorado Springs Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group meets the second Sunday of the month in Feb, Apr, June, Aug, Oct, Dec

  • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • First Lutheran Church, 1515 N. Cascade, Colorado Springs

 

For more information, contact Lindsay Collins at (720) 297-4626
or lcollins23@msn.com. Lindsay is also facilitator of The Wheezer Reader, a publication of the Southern Colorado PH Support Group. Contact her if you are interested in receiving this newsletter.

 

PH Program at UCH - Newsletters

April 2013

November 2012

 

Additional Pulmonary Hypertension Resources

Pulmonary Hypertension Association

Pulmonary Hypertension Research

Go to our clinical trials listing to learn about the research we're conducting to identify the most effective treatments for pulmonary hypertension - and to see if you qualify to join a study.

 

Clinical trials for pulmonary hypertension