Pulmonary Hypertension Care at Allegheny Health Network
With Allegheny Health Network, you'll receive nationally-recognized care and treatment for pulmonary hypertension.
Our Allegheny General Hospital-based program offers the following benefits:
- We are the only PHA-accredited pulmonary hypertension program in Western Pennsylvania, and one of only 29 in the United States.
- We receive patient referrals for our pulmonary hypertension and CTEPH treatments nationwide.
- Our program is led by internationally recognized cardiologists Raymond Benza, MD, and Srinivas Murali, MD. Cardiothoracic surgeon Robert Moraca, MD leads our CTEPH program.
- Our innovative clinical trials continue to advance knowledge and treatment of pulmonary hypertension and CTEPH.
What is Pulmonary Hypertension?
Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by high pressure in the pulmonary arteries detected on echocardiogram or catheterization, which may result from diseases that affect the left ventricle, lung parenchyma, or the pulmonary vasculature directly. This latter form of pulmonary hypertension may be rapid in progression and is also known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
The primary types of pulmonary hypertension are:
- pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)
- pulmonary venous hypertension (PVH)
- chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)
- pulmonary hypertension originating in the lungs
- multifactorial pulmonary hypertension
Treating Pulmonary Hypertension
Although there is currently no cure for pulmonary hypertension, AHN offers some of the most advanced treatments available to help you receive state-of-the-art care.
Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension program at Allegheny General Hospital, Dr. Raymond Benza, has developed leading-edge guidelines for the assessment and treatment of pulmonary hypertension based on his work with the REVEAL registry. REVEAL is the world’s largest databank on pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Our doctors believe the most effective treatment of pulmonary hypertension is a collaborative, team approach that identifies the best options for individual patients depending on what type of pulmonary hypertension they have. Possible treatments include:
- Drug therapy – oral, inhaled, intravenous (into the vein), and subcutaneous (into the skin).
- PTE – a surgery to remove blood clots.
- Balloon Pulmonary Angioplasty (BPA) – A less invasive option for those who cannot undergo surgery. It involves inserting and expanding a balloon in the narrowed artery to clear the obstruction.
- Heart or lung transplant – used in severe cases when all other options have been ruled out.
When to Refer a Patient with Pulmonary Hypertension
We encourage you to promptly refer any patient older than 18 who you believe has pulmonary hypertension. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath or light-headedness
- Raynaud’s phenomenon during activity
- Abdominal bloating and/or leg swelling
- Bluish color of the lips or skin/cyanosis
- Chest pain or pressure
- Dizziness or syncope
In addition, it is particularly important that those patients with any of the above symptoms who have a family history of pulmonary hypertension, or connective tissue diseases, HIV, pulmonary emboli, or DVT be referred for specialized screening techniques offered by our program.