Pulmonary Hypertension - Research Services

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Our program is committed to research and innovation, uncovering new therapies for patients with pulmonary hypertension. Many research programs are funded by support from the Lillihei Research Fund, the American Heart Association and the family of University of Minnesota cardiologist, Marc Pritzker, MD.

  • Our data from the use of sildenafil provided Pfizer with the basis for beginning trials on the use of PDE-V inhibitors (SUPER) for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
  • We have some of the most extensive experience in using immunosuppressive drugs, such as cyclosporine and rapamycin, for the treatment of pulmonary vascular disease.
  • We have many 15-year survivors with collagen vascular-associated pulmonary hypertension, thanks to our use of poly-drug treatments to attack the redundancy of molecular mechanisms inherent in pulmonary vascular disease. We establish hallmarks for adding incremental drugs or drug titration in patients who do not demonstrate marked improvements or experience deterioration in functional capacity.
  • Two graduate engineering students at the university founded ARIA Cardiovascular using the first implanted mechanical device for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension. The device is based on the concepts of adding compliance to the pulmonary circulation as well as slowing the augmented reflectance wave in the diseased pulmonary circulation.
  • We have demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of beta blocking agents in the treatment of left-sided heart failure, and we currently have a prospective trial for the use of carvedilol in patients with impaired right ventricular function.
  • Patients with pulmonary vascular disease often have a disproportionate amount of iron deficiency. We are looking at myoglobin iron and oxygen saturation in peripheral muscle with a magnet to attempt to explain the exercise limitations in pulmonary vascular disease.
  • We are designing a clinical trial to biologically or genetically engineer outgrowth endothelial cells for human use in pulmonary vascular disease.
  • We have begun studies in the proteonomics of pulmonary vascular disease.