Jefferson University Hospitals

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)

A disorder characterized by abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension) in the small blood vessels of the lungs (pulmonary arteries and arterioles) is known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a specific type of pulmonary hypertension.

Our physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating individuals with PAH. When patients come in for a pulmonary hypertension evaluation, our specialists will determine the cause of your pulmonary hypertension and the course of treatment.

Right heart catheterizations (also known as pulmonary artery catheterizations or Swan-Ganz catheterizations) with pulmonary vasodilator trials using inhaled nitric oxide are performed regularly by Jefferson pulmonologists and cardiologists. Beyond the oral medications prescribed, our specialists are particularly pleased by the success our patients have had with the prostacyclin products delivered by inhalation, subcutaneously and intravenously.

In addition, our specialists successfully treat patients with the new prostacyclin infusion medication that does not require ice packs.

Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension-Related Diseases

All patients are seen at the Jefferson Heart Institute, chosen specifically for its convenience to patients.

After valet parking, patients undergo a thorough evaluation and, as necessary, echocardiograms, exercise testing, nurse teaching and medication starts – all on-site. Our specialists treat PAH related to:

  • Idiopathic (previously called primary pulmonary hypertension)
  • Connective tissue disorders (scleroderma, lupus, Sjogren's disease, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Drugs/toxins
  • Advanced liver disease
  • Hemolytic anemias (sickle cell disease)
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • HIV
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sleep apnea

Ongoing Research of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Our research interests include:

  • Early detection of PAH using CT imaging techniques
  • Alternative ways to measure the exercise tolerance of PAH patients in an office setting
  • New treatments for scleroderma patients with PAH
  • Detection of sleep apnea in persons with PAH

Make an Appointment for an Evaluation

Please call 1-800-JEFF-NOW to schedule an evaluation or call 215-955-5161 (select option 2).