Specialists and Care Centers
Pulmonary Hypertension Specialists and Care Centers
The Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is among the largest and most advanced treatment and research programs in the country for patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH).
Our program is honored to have received national recognition from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) as a designated PHA-accredited “Center for Comprehensive Care,” the only one of its kind in Illinois. Criteria for this esteemed designation emphasize the experienced staff, comprehensive facility resources, evaluations of PH patients based upon consensus guidelines, access to all PH specific therapies, overall experience in treating PH and participation in clinical research.
The Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program offers a full range of services that include comprehensive patient evaluation, diagnostic testing, advanced treatment options, clinical research and patient education. The goal of the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program is to enable patients to effectively manage their disease with the best quality of life possible.
At Northwestern, we believe in a team approach to evaluating and treating these patients. Physician team members include pioneers in the field of PH with international reputations in the realm of research and the development of novel treatments for PH. Collectively, the physician team that makes up the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program have over 70 years of patient care experience.
One of the unique aspects of the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program is the large number of faculty with recognized expertise in all forms of pulmonary hypertension. These include physicians with published research in:
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension (including familial/inherited forms, scleroderma and congenital heart disease)
- Pulmonary hypertension from left heart failure
- Pulmonary hypertension associated with lung diseases
- Pulmonary hypertension from pulmonary embolism, and virtually all of the rarest forms of the disease
Our team has extensive experience treating PH with all FDA-approved medications. In fact, they have been leaders in several of the clinical trials that develop these medications. For patients not responding to approved therapies, we are participating in several clinical drug trials with state-of-the art therapies. Our team recently discovered specific genetic variants in patients that allows one to predict a patient’s response to certain drugs.
A distinctive feature of this program is its pioneering of interventional treatments for PH.
- We are the only center in Illinois offering pulmonary endarterectomy for thromboembolic PH
- We were the pioneers in developing atrial septostomy (creating a hole in the heart chambers) in patients in whom medications no longer worked.
- We have created a fenestrated percutaneous ASD closure device to allow for partial closure of heart defects in high-risk patients
- We offer lung transplantation for patients with end-stage disease
- We are one of a handful of centers testing a novel device that can be placed without heart surgery to fix a leaking right-sided heart valve that develops in patients with PH
- We have developed a unique program for the placement of a right ventricular assist device (RVAD) for patients in whom no other treatment is possible