Pulmonary hypertension is unusually high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. When the pressure is raised, the right side of the heart has to work harder than normal to pump blood through the lungs. Eventually, this may result in heart failure.
Pulmonary hypertension is a serious illness that is ongoing and has no cure. However, many specialized treatments are now available that can improve symptoms and quality of life.
Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include:
Shortness of breath with activity or at rest
Fatigue or weakness
Fainting or near fainting
Chest pain or pressure
Racing heart beats
Swelling in the ankles, legs, belly
Why Choose Us?
The Pulmonary Hypertension Program at the University of Iowa was founded in 1996, one year after the first specialized medical treatment for this disease was approved by the FDA. As dedicated physicians and nurses, we have experience caring for people throughout the entire disease process. We are aware of the complex evaluation, monitoring, and treatments needed to manage pulmonary hypertension.
Under the direction of Linda Cadaret, MD, we work as a team to provide quality care and ensure all of your needs are being met. Our team consists of pulmonologists (lung doctors) and cardiologists (heart doctors), as well as nurses, social workers, dietitians, pharmacists, and rehabilitation specialists. We will partner with your community providers to help manage your condition.
Our doctors and nurses are available by pager 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist patients and referring physicians.
Pulmonary hypertension can be difficult to diagnose and the diagnosis is often delayed. Pulmonary hypertension can be caused by many medical conditions and correctly identifying the underlying condition(s) is key to successful management. To ensure a correct diagnosis is made, we conduct an in-depth work up.
Prior to 1995, there was no specialized medical treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Currently, there are several FDA approved medicines to choose from and more being studied in clinical trials. The approved medicines include pills, inhaled medications, and continuous infusions. We offer each of the FDA approved treatments and will help you decide which option is best for you.
Our specialists have participated in clinical research that has resulted in the currently approved therapies. We continue to participate in clinical studies to determine how to combine current medications and to look for new treatment options. You may be eligible to participate in a trial of new therapies. Learn more about our pulmonary hypertension clinical trials.