Pulmonary Hypertension Center

Our Pulmonary Hypertension Center Offers: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) represents a spectrum of diseases that share the common finding of high blood pressure in the lungs. Although PH can result from a variety of causes, our clinical and research efforts are focused on PH that results from chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)emphysema, and interstitial lung disease.

The treatment of PH due to chronic lung diseases remains poorly understood, and yet it is one of the largest PH populations around. In conjunction with the existing National Jewish Health programs of excellence in respiratory medicine, the National Jewish Health Pulmonary Hypertension Center is committed to advancing the understanding and treatment of chronic lung disease PH.
 
“The National Jewish Health PH Center is uniquely positioned to take on the complex lung disease patient with PH. We take pride in our care of this important and challenging form of PH.” - Brett Fenster, MD

 

  • A Multidisciplinary Approach to PH 
    Our PH specialists are experts in cardiology, pulmonology, and rheumatology, and they collaborate to provide you optimal care. Our specialists work closely with the National Jewish Health Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Program, Interstitial Lung Disease Program, Autoimmune Lung Disease Program, and Rheumatology Program to provide collaborative care for PH associated with these conditions.

  • A Pulmonary Physiology Laboratory
    National Jewish Health has one of the world’s largest, state-of-the-art technology pulmonary physiology labs. We utilize cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) to assess exercise performance in the evaluation of PH.  CPET can help better differentiate chronic lung disease from PH. In addition, we perform CPET during cardiac catheterization for both clinical and research purposes.

  • A Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
    Cardiac catheterization is critical to the diagnosis and treatement of PH, and our facility offers the most current catheterization technology and techniques. In contrast to other PH programs, we perform both right and left heart catheterizations to fully assess the impact of left heart problems on PH. This allows for more appropriate use of PH pharmacologic treatments and adjunctive therapies. We utilize wrist catheterization to reduce recovery time and potential complications. Because we believe changes in pulmonary pressures during exercise may identify certain forms of PH, we also perform CPET during cardiac catheterization as part our research effort. 

  • A Focus on the Right Heart 
    In contrast to many traditional cardiology programs that focus on the left heart, National Jewish Health Cardiology has significant expertise in right heart disease. Because the right heart plays a critical role in PH, we utilize state-of-the art right heart imaging using both echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. We use cardiac imaging and cardiac catheterization to help us treat the whole heart, not just the left or right heart.

  • Access to Research Protocols 
    We offer our PH patients access to clinical trials and research protocols, most of which focus on chronic lung disease PH. The National Jewish Health Pulmonary Hypertension Center has numerous ongoing and future studies that provide patients access to novel testing and treatments.

  • Have unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations or edema (swelling)

  • Are at risk for PH because you have an autoimmune disease, heart failure or chronic lung disease

  • Results from your echocardiogram, lung function testing, or blood tests are suspicious for PH

Kern Buckner, MD
Division Chief

Brett Fenster, MD, FACC, FASE
Director, Pulmonary Hypertension Center

Andrew Freeman, MD, FACC, FACP

Darlene Kim, MD

Barbara Lemer, NP

Jason McCarl, MD

Kelly Newton, MD
 

Learn about other cardiology programs at National Jewish Health and the Division of Cardiology.

Current research protocols at the National Jewish Health Pulmonary Hypertension Center include:

  • Regadenoson versus InHaled NItric Oxide for PulmoNary Vascular RespOnsiveness: The RHINO Study

  • A Phase 2, Open-Label, Dose-Escalation Study in Subjects with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, (PAH, WHO Group 1) and Pulmonary Hypertension Secondary to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, (PH-IPF WHO Group 3) Using Inhaled NITROsyl

  • 4D Cardiac MRI for the Prediction of Right Ventricular Failure in Pulmonary Hypertension

  • 4D Cardiac MRI-Derived Pulmonary Arterial Vortex Properties for the Prediction of Pulmonary Vascular Impedance

  • Ambrisentan for the Improvement in Right Ventricular Strain in Scleroderma Associated Pre-Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

  • Pulmonary Vascular Function in COPD Subjects with Disproportionate Dyspnea

  • 4 Dimensional Cardiac MRI for the Assessment of Disease Severity and Prognosis in Pulmonary Hypertension

  • 4 Dimensional Flow Cardiac MRI for the Diagnosis and Assessment of Pulmonary Hypertension   

  • Growth Differentiating Factor 15 (GDF-15): A Novel Biomarker for Clinical Response in Pulmonary Hypertension

Click here for more information on clinical trials and FAQ for patients.

Watch this video to learn about the specialists who treat these types of conditions for a coordinated, multidisciplnary approach to your care.

For additional information on pulmonary hypertension, please visit the following:

Pulmonary Hypertension Association

American Thoracic Society

NIH/NHLBI